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LMITOUT

DNR supervisor to discuss options for Silver Lake

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LMITOUT

Lee Sundmark, Department of Natural Resources Fisheries supervisor, will meet with residents interested in the future of Silver Lake (near Silver Lake) at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 18, at the Silver Lake Auditorium.

Sundmark will lay out fisheries management options for Silver Lake and what to realistically expect from each option. He will talk about some of the pros and cons of each option as well as give financial and logistical considerations of each.

All options would involve some investment of money or manpower by local citizens and/or the DNR.

Options might include:

• Walleye production-type management with boom and bust fishing opportunity (the current approach)

• Management for fishing with aeration (no guarantee against winterkill)

• Management for boom-and-bust fishing opportunity without aeration

• Waterfowl management including fish predators (walleye or northern pike)

• Waterfowl management with no fish component

Other considerations Sundmark intends to discuss are:

• Past management history

• Water quality improvement and watershed best management practices

• Aeration – expectations for success, sponsor need and obligations, cost, waterfowl implications

• Fish habitat and species worthy of consideration

• Chemical reclamation with rotenone

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Ryan_V

interesting!!! Thanks for the info.

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pike doctor

There arent any ducks in the area in the fall anyway. I say go for the fish. Kill the lake off and then walleye and crappie.

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MikeH55343

Is there a shortage of lake with proper depth and structure to sustain a fish population in central MN??? Why would the DNR waste any funds on Silver Lake. They have be trying to manage Swan Lake for twenty years with questionable results.

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Roughneck19SC

Unfortunatly one can add this to the list of dead end projects that the DNR feels will improve an aspect of the outdoors.

The more i read and the longer i "experience" the outdoors brought to you by the MN DNR the more confused i get. Start with hunting regs always changing to this joke they call the Walleye stamp that is currently "optional". more money going towards projects i don't understand.

No, I don't have the answers but one of the brain wizards at the DNR should.

I'm just sayin.

Kill the lake completely, INCLUDING ANY CARP. I don't recall if there are any in Silver but start fresh with the crappie, walleye and pike.

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RiverRunner

There arent any ducks in the area in the fall anyway. I say go for the fish. Kill the lake off and then walleye and crappie. [/quote

Prefect opportunity for the DNR to do something good for ducks. Kill all the fish in the lake, drop the water level two or three feet if possible, make the lake a waterfowl refuge. Ducks will return to the area again if you kill off carp and get vegitation to grow.

To me its kind of pointless to stock the heck out of a lake with walleye thats max 10 ft deep with most of it shallower. Most lakes like this are marginal fisheries. Would be a better option to stock the walleyes in another area lake. Definetly don't throw and aerator on it.

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Big Buck Buster

So, with this walleye stocking project they might do. Would they just be using the lake as a "holding pond" for the walleyes before they get put in other lakes???

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pike doctor

I am pretty sure there is nowhere to go with the water to draw it down. If there is, it would be a really expensive and time consuming option. Shakopee lake about six miles north of town is about five feet deep, full of weeds, and no fish at all, and there isnt hardly a duck out there in the fall. Thats over 100 acres.

They have been using the lake for a rearing pond for walleyes. Throw them in during the spring and take them out during the fall. A couple years ago when they had some mild winters out there the walleyes made it through. The first year people fished them and caught them they were getting twelve inchers one after another. 3-4 minutes to catch your six. The next year nobody went back cause they thought they were all dead. I caught a ton of sixteen inchers before ice up. Ice came on and I couldnt catch anything. Have caught quite a few over 20 inches since, and there is NEVER anyone out there. There are some SLABS in there as well and monster gills, but they are really hard to find. There is no structure so I like to troll with a two inch twister tail. Didnt get a chance to fish it last fall with the late harvest.

From my perspective it would be more expensive to get something for the waterfowl. If you like pelican and coots that would be a good lake to go to. I just dont see a guarntee of ducks comming back, but it has proven to me that it can kick out some really nice fish. And i like having it all to myself.

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Farley

I am pretty sure there is nowhere to go with the water to draw it down. If there is, it would be a really expensive and time consuming option. Shakopee lake about six miles north of town is about five feet deep, full of weeds, and no fish at all, and there isnt hardly a duck out there in the fall. Thats over 100 acres.

You are correct, you dont see a lot of ducks on Shakopee, I check it at least once a week during the season but also that lake does get hunting pressure to where Silver, if it was a refuge, would not. That makes a big difference. I hunt less than a mile away from the far west side of Shakopee and see quite a few ducks, when they are around mind you, comming from that direction. If they turned Silver into a refuge I would be pumped.

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RiverRunner

Making it a waterfowl refuge would go a long ways. Shakopees another turbid lake thats too deep to grow a lot of food for waterfowl. I did see quite a few ducks on the lake a couple times last year. Theres ducks in the area, they just don't have enough reasons to stick around.

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WaveWacker

Living in (and being from my entire life) Silver Lake I'll give you what I either know or suspect is going on here. First off, I'd be reluctant in this situation to point the gun at the DNR in that they want to "waste funds" in Silver Lake. I think they had a good idea of using it for a walleye rearing pond and the community benefitted from that for a couple of years in catching the "surplus" fish. Well, I think that ended up kind of shooting them in the foot with, as you know, how whipped up people that don't really have a clue about lake ecology can get in situations like this.

Why doesn't DNR stock this? Why doesn't the DNR put in an aerator that? All because it was so great to be able to go out and hammer 12-13 inch walleyes that one winter and yes there was some fish that made it for the next couple of years (and maybe some still in there). So now this is what god created SL for!!

So with this I know the sportsmans club has at least discussed the option of an aeration but mainly there has been a Silver Lake lake improvement association that has been formed to look into options to improve the lake and I believe this is where the pressure is coming from to the DNR about "options" for the lake. Keep in mind this is only an informational meeting. Any action is going to take grant, local/private funding for it to work.

The #1 thing is that Silver Lake (like any other lake) has limitations and there is only so much (one way or the other) that can be done with it. Some people don't get this and think that just because walleyes were caught in it that it can magically be turned into the next Mille Lacs. I'll get into what I personally think but for now let's stick with the facts. Keep in mind that yes I thought it was rather cool seeing people out on SL in the winter fishing but I also have to try to be realistic with the possibilities.

- Yes, aeration may provide a longer period of substaining some measurable form of fishing recreation. I'm assuming the sportsmans club will assume responsibilty of potentially purchase and maintenance of an aerator just as they do on Swan Lake. Obviously the chance of natural reproduction is pretty much out the window and with the inevitable masses flocking to this lake (like with all others) to pull pale after pale of fish out in that boom year (maybe two) until it's depleted down (like those that remember the beginning weeks a couple years ago on Swan Lake which I know there where those that had more than their 1 fish over 20"), there is going to have to be stocking that takes place. Would the DNR consider this lake a high enough priority to expend their already diminished stocking budget on? Not sure and then there may be (as stated in the DNR press release) that aeration may in years not be affective enough along with aeration going completely against any sort of management of shallow lakes for waterfowl production.

- Before you start yelling about "what ducks?"...I agree, there isn't any (to speak of at least) and the ones on the lake get continuously pounded at. But does that mean then the state as a whole should just switch gears and stop looking to improve waterfowl habitats (shallow lakes being a main one)? I hope not. Yeah, what could one lake do? Probably not much, but it would be a start.

So what do I think? Well, I actually go back and forth but not fully to one side or the other. I'm leaning towards the idea of the lake being managed as basically a designated DNR wallye rearing pond. Boom and bust walleye fishing (as stated, like what probably would be anyway with aeration). Rely on the DNR for stocking. Get some residual "stragglers" and then let the people go in and wipe them out. Hope that the lake freezes out and then start it all back up again. Potentially this management strategy would require a periodic slight draw down which may encourage some waterfowl benefits. MAY.

If not that then I'm leaning towards going to straight waterfowl management as I'm not sold on it ever being a great fishery. I hope I'm wrong if that's the avenue that chosen however.

With either of these two options...they results are going to be increased with looking at a watershed approach and what imputs are coming into the lake and first trying to get that handled.

That's all I have.

WW

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RiverRunner

Agree with everything you said WaveWacker. I fish and hunt quite a bit. I really hope the DNR considers doing something for waterfowl or a combination of Fishing/ Waterfowl management. Although it really doesn't work well both ways. Plenty of better options for fishing in the area.

Duck numbers are poor in the state and have been ignored a long time. The states kind of at a breaking point, where something really needs to be done to improve numbers of both migrating and breeding ducks in the state. Making more refuges in the state and improving habitat, even on one lake does help.

Thats my opinion. I'll try to make it over to Silver Lake for the meeting.

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LMITOUT

Did anybody attend?

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Scott M

Good post WaveWacker, nice assessment of the options. Budgets are pretty crummy, I'm not sure any of the options presented are all that compelling given the price tags attached. Maybe do nothing is the right thing to do.

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WaveWacker

I was unable to attend but talked to some people "in the know" that did attend. Basically yes the meeting was sparked on by a select few that have thoughts that Silver Lake can be turned into something that it's basically incapable of becoming. Same basic presentation that was give a few years. Examples given of similar shallow lakes and how aeration didn't elevate O2 levels. Basic point was that a lake needs to be a minimum of Swan Lake in depth area to even begin to think that aeration is going to be a viable expense to try.

Yes, a draw down could be done to try to bring back some vegetation to help improve the lake for waterfowl and this could be still combined with boom and bust fishing.

My opinion on the matter is if anything is going to be done then draw it down and manage for waterfowl or leave it the way it is. DNR will use it as a rearing pond with good periods of fishing afterwards.

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Bureaucrat

There's plenty of money. Let's not forget in 2008 the sales tax increase under the lie of preserve, protect, and improve. Don't forget the lottery money. Don't forget the horrible waste in the bonding bills.

There is plenty of money out there for improvement of waters. The problem is nearly all the lottery and outdoor sales tax money is being spent on land acquisition and trail paving and nothing on preserving or improving water and land resources.

http://www.lccmr.leg.mn/BiennialReport/2010/2010_annualreview.pdf

http://www.lsohc.leg.mn/FY2010/accomp_plan/index.html

If the legislature was at all concerned about preserving or improving, they would look hard at why swan lake and belle lake have become overrun with carp when they used to have tremendously clear water. They would ask why Silver Lake is in dead limbo between a bad fishing lake, and a bad duck lake. Why is nothing of real substance being done about Asian carp yet? How come they can barely muster a few thousand dollars to take on emerald ash borer? Why is it that they haven't addressed the well known fact that the Minnesota river has a huge water quality problems driven by erosion? Duluth has been under lawsuit by the EPA to clean up their city runoff into Lake Superior for years and nothing has been done.

A huge part of the problem rests with the outdoor groups themselves. PF, DU, Sportsman for Change, and the Deer Hunters Association are 100% on board with acquisition and make zero noise about spending some of that money on improvement.

20 years from now we're going to look back and scratch our heads and wonder how we spent truckloads of gold on the outdoors and things have deteriorated to the point they have.

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Nolan

I'm bringing a topic up from the dead.. Has anyone fished this at all this open water season? Thinking of maybe popping a few holes in the ice.. Thanks!

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greenenvy

be careful of supporting all these restoration projects.swan,pelican and silver were very good minnow lakes for the commercial bait harvesters.hard to go fishing without bait!!

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Scott M

No shortage of fathead minnows in these parts. If anything, the bait guys love restoration projects provided the state isn't stocking predators too.

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perchmaster

I lived on the lake.

Please concider the facts -

The lake is deeper than Swan(Please look at DNR lake finder).

The waterfowl have mud to the east of Silver Lake(Have you seen the size of that lake ?).

The waterfowl are reluctant to be by the city.

Look at Marion over by Brownton - should we shut that aeriater off over there ?

I want the lake to be a fishing lake. I want somthing for the people of Silver Lake to be proud of.

I talked to the older people of SL and they said that it used to be a awesome lake to fish until SL screwed it up. And it was so nice to walk anywhere from the city to the lake with ease to fish.

"The lake is great - make it awesome !!"

God Bless the lake !!

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perchmaster

Also,

When the lake did not have a winterkill for 5 years, I was catching up to 13 inch crappies and 26 inch wallleys off of the tennis court shore and some nice perch too. UMM, That proves with a aeriater it would become a "Lake Marion or a Swan lake"...

It would also have economy factors too !!

Almost all of our money and fish go to Popular lakes in the cities - look at tar landings and etc. Look at Titloe over by Gaylord, They ARE going to restore thier lake.

I like Duck hunting, But this lake has to be a fishing lake compared to Marion, Winsted and Swan and etc.

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perchmaster

I figure that the lake will be "Let down" by the DNR because the lake produces great walleye fingerlings for those popular metro lakes AND as a waterfowl lake they do not have to take care of it. I am glad to have the DNR, I believe in them BUT, I hope that they do not make more excuses to drive people away from making it a fishing lake.

Take care and good luck fishing everybody !

Take only what you eat and return those for a better tomorrow.

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BuckSutherland

Couple years ago I was catching 16-18 inch walleyes like they were panfish during deer hunting. I would say in three nights I easily caught 100 fish. Went right by the street light down by the high school with a glow jig slip bobber and a fathead. Took a meal for myself and one for each of the grandparents.

I never told anyone else, and to this day it remains the best walleye fishing I ever had. I never saw a single person out there either. I also saw a stringer of crappies come out of there one time that would rival red lake crappies.

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mnguy152

i rember anout 10 years ago the walleye fishing was really great on the lake . It was about xmas time caught a limit of walleyes that night in the 12 inch range. The funny part was think their was more people on the lake than live in town that night. But everyone was having fun and a good time.If they did bring it back to a fishing lake It would be good for the area. It woulb bring back some money back into silver lake and give people another option to fish.

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Avid Angler

The DNR can help, but the local sportsman need to get the ball rolling. The more public interest in the lake, the more the DNR will listen. Take High Island Lake as an example. The locals are really stepping up and trying to make that lake a fishing option. They have really cleaned things up and the DNR saw this and decided to put $20,000 dollars of fry in the lake. The DNR works for the public of MN and if we show enough interest in getting things done and are willing to put some money towards the project, they will contribute as well.

Avid

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