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Silver Lake (Palo Alto)

General Information

County: Palo Alto
Location: 2 miles west of Ayrshire
Acres: 648.00
Maximum Depth: 7.2 ft. (2006 - Data collected as part of the statewide lake mapping program. (Soundings provided by USGS))
Motoring Restrictions: none


Amenities at Silver Lake (Palo Alto) include:
  • Boat Access
  • Picnic Area
  • Restrooms
  • Camping
  • Hard Surface Boat Ramp

Fishing Report

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Fishing Forecast

Spring 2012 Electrofishing Assessment - A comprehensive survey was scheduled at Silver Lake (Palo Alto County) during the 2012 field season. Spring D.C. electrofishing, which is a component of a comprehensive survey, was conducted on May 21st to assess the adult and subadult fish populations of Silver Lake. Yellow perch were detected in good numbers during the 2012 spring electrofishing assessment. Length frequency analysis indicates the presence of small fish dominating the total yellow perch catch. Stock (5.0 – 7.9 inches) sized fish comprised 100 percent of the sample, indicating good numbers of age II+ yellow perch (mean size 6.5 inches) in Silver Lake. A yellow perch relative weigh of 94 is slightly below the target range of 95-105, indicating fish in fairly good body condition. Walleye were also sampled during the 2012 spring electrofishing assessment. Length frequency analysis reflect 92 percent of the walleye catch was comprised of age I+ walleye (6.2 – 8.7 inches); however, Silver Lake was last stocked in 2008, suggesting the presence of possible natural reproduction or some other introduction of this year class in Silver Lake. Black bullheads were sampled in good numbers during the 2012 spring electrofishing assessment. A PSD (proportional stock density) value of 37 indicates good numbers of angler acceptable size bullheads and the presence of multiple year classes in various densities in Silver Lake. Stock (6.0 – 8.9 inches) size fish comprised 63 percent of the catch with quality (9.0 – 11.9 inches) and preferred (>12.0 inches) size fish representing 32 and 5 percent; respectively, of the remaining bullhead catch. Rough fish comprised of carp, buffalo and white sucker were detected in varying densities and represented 17 percent of the 2012 spring electrofishing sample. Fall 2012 Fyke Net Assessment – A fall fyke net assessment, the second component of the comprehensive survey was conducted during the month of October to assess the subadult and adult fish populations of Silver Lake. Walleyes were sampled in high numbers during the 2012 fall fyke net assessment. A walleye catch rate of 9 fish per net is the highest recorded since fall fyke net assessments began on Silver Lake in 1994. Length frequency analysis reflects stock (11.0 = 14.9 inches) size fish well represented in the catch (74%), with quality (15.0 – 19.9 inches) and preferred (> 20.0 inches) size fish comprising 17 and 9 percent respectively of the remaining walleye catch. Walleye age and growth analysis suggests the presence of two year classes which no doubt can be attributed to the 2006 and 2008 walleye stocking, representing 16 percent of the total walleye catch. The 2005 (7 percent), 2009 (6 percent), 2010 (4 percent) and 2011 (67 percent) year classes representing non-stocking years were detected during the 2012 Silver Lake fyke net assessment, suggesting limited to excellent walleye natural reproduction or some other introduction in Silver Lake. A relative weight of 97 is within the 95 – 105 target range, indicating walleye in optimal body condition. Yellow perch were detected in lower but comparable numbers during the 2012 fall fyke net assessment. A yellow perch catch rate of 9 fish per net was approximately 2 times lower than the lakes median value of 19 fish per net; however, catch rates were comparable (7 – 19 lower and upper percentiles) to historical catch rates, indicating a lower but stable yellow perch population in Silver Lake. Length frequency analysis indicates good yellow perch growth with age II+ fish (mean length 8.0 inches) increasing 1.5 inches from the spring 2012 electrofishing assessment. Relative weight (88), calculated from the 2012 fall fyke net assessment reflect a diminished body condition of the overall yellow perch population of Silver Lake. Since 1997, data indicates low numbers of northern pike in the fall fyke net assessments; however, these surveys have not been a reliable indicator of the northern pike population of Silver Lake. Incidental catches of northern pike reported by the commercial fisherman has indicated good numbers in the past; however, limited numbers of northern pike were reported by the commercial fisherman in 2012, suggesting a diminished northern pike population in Silver Lake. The Silver Lake bullhead catch rate of 57 fish per net was the second lowest catch rate recorded since 1994 and reflects a significant decrease in the bullhead population in Silver Lake. Rough fish comprised of carp, buffalo and white sucker were all sampled during the 2012 Silver Lake fyke net assessment. When compared to the 2007 fall fyke net assessment, carp and white sucker catch rates increased, suggesting an upward trend in the numbers of these rough fish in Silver Lake, with buffalo detected in limited numbers. (2012)

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Fish Surveys

Lake Fish Survey Data Data from the most recent fisheries survey of this lake is provided on this external web site. This data may include information from various netting surveys and/or electroshocking surveys. Data includes numbers of fish sampled, and fish size ranges. Not all lakes are sampled every year.

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Water Quality

Iowa-Caught Fish Are Safe to Eat, In Almost All Cases

The vast majority of Iowa’s streams, rivers and lakes offer safe and high-quality fish that pose little or no threat to human health if consumed. Some limitations may apply for young children and pregnant women. Here’s a Fish Consumption Fact Sheet from the Iowa DNR and the Iowa Dept. of Public Health for more information. Here is a list of current fish consumption advisories for Iowa lakes and rivers.