Silver Lake, Oconomowoc River Watershed (UR09)
Silver Lake, Oconomowoc River Watershed (UR09)
Silver Lake (779800)
217.07 Acres
Natural Community
Natural communities (stream and lake natural communities) represent model results that use predicted flow and temperature based on landscape features and related assumptions. Ranges of flow and temperature associated with specific aquatic life communities (fish, macroinvertebrates) help biologists identify appropriate resource management goals. Wisconsin Natural Communities.
Deep Seepage
Year Last Monitored
This is the most recent date of monitoring data stored in SWIMS. Additional surveys for fish and habitat may be available subsequent to this date.
2020
Excellent
 
Waukesha
Trout Water 
Trout Waters are represented by Class I, Class II or Class III waters. These classes have specific ecological characteristics and management actions associated with them. For more information regarding Trout Classifications, see the Fisheries Trout Class Webpages.
No
Outstanding or Exceptional 
Wisconsin has designated many of the state's highest quality waters as Outstanding Resource Waters (ORWs) or Exceptional Resource Waters (ERWs). Waters designated as ORW or ERW are surface waters which provide outstanding recreational opportunities, support valuable fisheries and wildlife habitat, have good water quality, and are not significantly impacted by human activities. ORW and ERW status identifies waters that the State of Wisconsin has determined warrant additional protection from the effects of pollution. These designations are intended to meet federal Clean Water Act obligations requiring Wisconsin to adopt an 'antidegradation' policy that is designed to prevent any lowering of water quality - especially in those waters having significant ecological or cultural value.
No
Impaired Water 
A water is polluted or 'impaired' if it does not support full use by humans, wildlife, fish and other aquatic life and it is shown that one or more of the pollutant criteria are not met.
No

Fish and Aquatic Life

Current Use
The use the water currently supports. This is not a designation or classification; it is based on the current condition of the water. Information in this column is not designed for, and should not be used for, regulatory purposes.
Deep Seepage
Deep seepage lake describes the depth and hydrologic charactertistics of the lake. These variables affect the lakes response to watershed variables.
Attainable Use
The use that the investigator believes the water could achieve through managing "controllable" sources. Beaver dams, hydroelectric dams, low gradient streams, and naturally occurring low flows are generally not considered controllable. The attainable use may be the same as the current use or it may be higher.
FAL
Fish and Aquatic Life - waters that do not have a specific use designation subcategory assigned but which are considered fishable, swimmable waters.
Designated Use
This is the water classification legally recognized by NR102 and NR104, Wis. Adm. Code. The classification determines water quality criteria and effluent limits. Waters obtain designated uses through classification procedures.
Default FAL
Fish and Aquatic Life - Default Waters do not have a specific use designation subcategory but are considered fishable, swimmable waters.

Overview

Silver Lake is a smaller lake (222 acres) with a maximum depth of 44 feet. The lake is a small landlocked basin partly in terminal moraine, partly in outwash deposits. At its original level, the lake discharged to the Oconomowoc River. The water is clear and much of the shore bottom is sandy. Largemouth bass and panfish constitute the fishery. Walleyes are stocked. Carp are present, but are not a problem. WDNR recently acquired public access by purchasing a restaurant parking site adjacent to the lake. Public access has been developed and is open. A Boy Scout camp occupies some shoreline and accommodates up to 400 boys each summer week. A shallow marsh adjoins the west shore and offers some incentive for waterfowl to nest here. In 1943, a waterfowl refuge was suggested for this area.

The lake association has been fairly active in lake management. Some of the issues addressed in the last five years include construction activities associated with a sanitary sewer extension, low water levels, zoning issues associated with an industrial park in the watershed, water quality and public access.

In 1992, the Town of Summit received a Wisconsin Lake Management Planning Grant and hired the U.S Geological Survey to monitor the water quality between 1992 and 1996. In addition, a land use inventory and a sensitive area assessment are to be conducted in the watershed to identify areas that should be protected from development. WDNR has acquired a public access site on the north shore of the lake.

Zebra mussel larvae have been identified in the watershed by a representative of the UW Sea Grant Institute. No larvae or adults have been found in Silver Lake (1994).

Date  2002

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

A small landlocked basin partly in terminal moraine, partly in outwash deposits. At its original level the lake discharged to the Oconomowoc River. The water is clear and much of the shore bottom is sandy. Largemouth bass and pan fish constitute the fishery. Carp are present but not in problem proportions. Public access without parking is provided by a road contiguous with the shore. A Boy Scout camp occupies some shore line and accommodates up to 400 boys each summer week. A large beach resort has counted nearly 1,500 swimmers per week end during midsummer. Shallow marsh adjoins the west shore offering some incentive for waterfowl to nest here. In 1943, a waterfowl refuge was suggested for this area. Source: 1963, Surface Water Resources of Waukesha County Silver Lake T7N, R17E, Sections 9 and 16 Surface Acres = 222, S.D.F., 1.29, Maximum Depth = 44 feet

Date  1963

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Silver Lake, Oconomowoc River Watershed (UR09) Fish and Aquatic LifeSilver Lake, Oconomowoc River Watershed (UR09) RecreationSilver Lake, Oconomowoc River Watershed (UR09) Fish Consumption

General Condition

Silver Lake was evaluated every two years between 2014 and 2020 for phosphorus and algae and was found to be in good condition. This lake is on the healthy waters list.

Date  2019

Author  Ashley Beranek

Condition

Wisconsin has over 84,000 miles of streams, 15,000 lakes and milllions of acres of wetlands. Assessing the condition of this vast amount of water is challenging. The state's water monitoring program uses a media-based, cross-program approach to analyze water condition. An updated monitoring strategy (2015-2020) is now available. Compliance with Clean Water Act fishable, swimmable standards are located in the Executive Summary of Water Condition in 2018. See also the 'monitoring and projects' tab.

Reports

Recommendations

Monitor Water Quality or Sediment

Management Goals

Wisconsin's Water Quality Standards provide qualitative and quantitative goals for waters that are protective of Fishable, Swimmable conditions [Learn more]. Waters that do not meet water quality standards are considered impaired and restoration actions are planned and carried out until the water is once again fishable and swimmable

Management goals can include creation or implementation of a Total Maximum Daily Load analysis, a Nine Key Element Plan, or other restoration work, education and outreach and more. If specific recommendations exist for this water, they will be displayed below online.

Monitoring

Monitoring the condition of a river, stream, or lake includes gathering physical, chemical, biological, and habitat data. Comprehensive studies often gather all these parameters in great detail, while lighter assessment events will involve sampling physical, chemical and biological data such as macroinvertebrates. Aquatic macroinvertebrates and fish communities integrate watershed or catchment condition, providing great insight into overall ecosystem health. Chemical and habitat parameters tell researchers more about human induced problems including contaminated runoff, point source dischargers, or habitat issues that foster or limit the potential of aquatic communities to thrive in a given area. Wisconsin's Water Monitoring Strategy was recenty updated.

Grants and Management Projects

Monitoring Projects

Watershed Characteristics

Silver Lake is located in the Oconomowoc River watershed which is 130.86 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (24.90%), forest (19.70%) and a mix of wetland (16.90%) and other uses (38.40%). This watershed has 136.99 stream miles, 2,858.66 lake acres and 11,105.19 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Not Available for runoff impacts on streams, Not Available for runoff impacts on lakes and High for runoff impacts on groundwater and therefore has an overall rank of High. This value can be used in ranking the watershed or individual waterbodies for grant funding under state and county programs.However, all waters are affected by diffuse pollutant sources regardless of initial water quality. Applications for specific runoff projects under state or county grant programs may be pursued. For more information, go to surface water program grants.

Natural Community

Silver Lake is considered a Deep Seepage under the state's Natural Community Determinations.

Natural communities (stream and lake natural communities) represent model resultsand DNR staff valiation processes that confirm or update predicted conditions based on flow and temperature modeling from historic and current landscape features and related variables. Predicated flow and temperatures for waters are associated predicated fish assemblages (communities). Biologists evaluate the model results against current survey data to determine if the modeled results are corect and whether biological indicators show water quaity degradation. This analysis is a core component of the state's resource management framework. Wisconsin's Riverine Natural Communities.

Deep seepage lake describes the depth and hydrologic charactertistics of the lake. These variables affect the lakes response to watershed variables.

Fish Stocking
More Interactive Maps