Silver Lake, Trego Lake - Middle Namekagon River Watershed (SC21)
Silver Lake, Trego Lake - Middle Namekagon River Watershed (SC21)
Silver Lake (2496900)
188.46 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.
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.
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.
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.

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.
Aquatic Life
Waters that support fish and aquatic life communities (healthy biological communities).
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.


Silver Lake, in the Trego Lake - Middle Namekagon River Watershed, is a 188.45 acre lake that falls in Washburn County. This lake is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently considered impaired.

Date  2011

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

Source: 1978, Surface Water Resources of Washburn County

Silver Lake, T41N, R12W, Section 35, 36, Surface Acres-187.5,
Maximum Depth-28 feet, M.P.A.-19 ppm, Secchi Disk-11 feet

A soft water, seepage lake, in the Village of Lampson. This clear
water, landlocked lake has a fishery of walleyes, northern pike,
largemouth bass, black crappies, bluegills, bullheads, and fewer numbers
of perch, pumpkinseeds, white suckers and redhorse. The lake water
levels have held up quite steadily in recent years but were considerably
lower in the 1930's. The lake lies in a glacial, ground moraine trough.
The east and west shores slope steeply to the lake. The entire shoreline
is upland, although a sedge meadow and bog lie across the town road that
parallels the north end. The lake has a single basin and an evenly
sloped bottom. Bottom types are divided between 61 percent sand, 17
percent gravel and 22 percent muck. A varied, but excessive, amount of
aquatic vegetation is found in the lake for supporting fish and wildlife.
The west and northeast shores have wooded uplands, while the east shore
has a railroad track and town road paralleling it and the south end has
County Highway "F" following the shoreline. Muskrats are common to the
lake and mallards and teal nest around it. In addition, diver ducks use
the lake moderately in spring and fall. Private lakeshore development
includes 3 resorts and 26 cottages and homes. There is a public access
at the south end of the lake and another access site at the north end
that has only town road parking. There is 0.4 mile of public frontage
that includes the two access roads and two undeveloped, platted access

Date  1978

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Silver Lake, Trego Lake - Middle Namekagon River Watershed (SC21) Fish and Aquatic LifeSilver Lake, Trego Lake - Middle Namekagon River Watershed (SC21) RecreationSilver Lake, Trego Lake - Middle Namekagon River Watershed (SC21) Fish Consumption

Impaired Waters

Silver Lake (2496900) was placed on the impaired waters list due to Mercury in fish tissue in 1998. This water is impaired for Fish Consumption use; a special consumption advisory is in effect for Silver Lake. This water was assessed during the 2016 listing cycle; total phosphorus sample data were clearly below 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use and Fish and Aquatic Life use. Chlorophyll data did not exceed REC or FAL listing thresholds.This water is considered to be meeting both Recreation and Fish and Aquatic Life uses.

Date  2015

Author  Aaron Larson


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.



Monitor Fish Tissue

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 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 Trego Lake - Middle Namekagon River watershed which is 268.89 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (69.80%), wetland (17.60%) and a mix of grassland (5.80%) and other uses (6.70%). This watershed has 217.96 stream miles, 4,463.49 lake acres and 28,205.13 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Not Ranked for runoff impacts on streams, Not Ranked for runoff impacts on lakes and Low for runoff impacts on groundwater and therefore has an overall rank of Low. 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 results and 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.