The slides below show how the area around Sanford Lake has developed from 1853 to today.
About half of Sanford Lake is less than 10 feet deep. Thus, much of the lake is shallow enough to support aquatic plant growth.
The shoreline development factor indicates the degree of irregularity in the shape of the shoreline. That is, compared to a perfectly round lake with the same surface area as Sanford Lake (i.e., 1,569 acres), the shoreline of Sanford Lake is nearly 6 times longer due to its convoluted shape.
Sanford Lake impounds waters from both the Tittabawassee River and Tobacco River. In addition, 15 smaller tributaries drain directly to Sanford Lake. Thus, Sanford Lake has a relatively rapid flushing rate. On average, the entire volume of water in Sanford Lake is replenished every 24 days.
Water flows from Sanford Lake into the Tittabawassee River and onto the Saginaw River and into Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron. There is an approximate 50-foot elevation difference between Sanford Lake and Lake Huron.
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Click here for a pdf copy of the watershed map, or click on the map below.
Important Notice: This website was created by the Sanford Lake Improvement Board to provide information regarding various management activities on the lake. With the failure of the Sanford Lake dam in May of 2020, the lake was lost. Since that time, the Sanford Lake Improvement Board has become temporarily inactive. However, this website is being maintained for informational purposes. To find out more about the status of the lake, visit the Four Lakes Task Force website.
Click here to get a downloadable version of Sanford Lake Facts & Figures.
Click here to get a copy of the 2007 Michigan Department of Natural Resources Status of the Fishery Report for Sanford Lake.
Click here to get a copy of the 2015 Michigan Department of Natural Resources Status of the Fishery Report for Sanford Lake.
Click here or on the map below to get a copy of the lake map.