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Shoreline stabilization project underway at Silver Lake

  • 3/24/2022 1:42:00 PM
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LAKE PARK, Iowa - Work is underway on a shoreline stabilization project on the northwest section of Silver Lake, in Dickinson County, that is part of a water quality improvement project for the 1,032-acre natural lake. Due to the nature of the project, the contractor has temporarily closed the northwest access road.

Silver Lake’s water quality has declined in recent years due, in part, from an estimated 1,600 pounds of phosphorus entering the lake annually from shoreline erosion.

“Stabilizing large sections of shoreline that is actively eroding is an important part of the overall restoration strategy for Silver Lake,” said Chris La Rue, wildlife biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The project will stabilize more than 4,000 feet of deteriorated shoreline and remove less desirable underbrush, like honeysuckle, Chinese elm and autumn olive, on the same area that does little to prevent erosion. Stable, quality trees, like bur oaks, will remain where possible.  The area will be reseeded with native grasses and flowers and covered with a natural erosion netting until the vegetation is established. Riprap will be used to protect against wave-action erosion at the water level.

The shoreline protection is an important part of the overall plan to improve Silver Lake.  This plan, developed over the last few years, was largely driven by the community and other partners in an effort to make Silver Lake healthier and improve water quality.

“A lot of credit goes to the Silver Lake Protective Association and the City of Lake Park for their efforts to partner with the Iowa Lake Restoration Program and local funding sources like the Dickinson County Water Quality Commission. This project is really only the first in a series of improvements for the lake and its watershed,” said Mike Hawkins, fisheries biologist with Iowa DNR. 

If the weather cooperates, work on this part of the shoreline project is expected to be completed this fall. The shoreline stabilization project is estimated to cost just under $1 million. An additional shoreline project closer to Trapper’s Bay State Park is being planned in the next couple of years. Lakeshore owners with erosion concerns on their own property are encouraged to contact the DNR to request a site visit and receive technical advice about protecting their shoreline.