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Silver Lake access great for fishing, boating in Manitowoc | Bob Schuh – Herald Times Reporter

Public access to our Silver Lake spells recreation.

The wayside park and the boat launch ramp at Silver Lake have been developed on 12 acres of land leased to Manitowoc County by the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity of Holy Family Convent.

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A concrete boat ramp and pier are available for launching canoes, sailboats and rowboats. Motors, except for electric motors, are restricted from the lake by town ordinance. 

Silver Lake provides an excellent opportunity for families to fish from shore or by boat. With reduced bag limits and increased size limits on walleye and northern pike, the lake is providing opportunities for a trophy fish and action for anglers with perch and bluegills. 

The existing watershed drains into Silver Creek, which eventually flows to Lake Michigan. However, historically, Silver Creek did not flow into Silver Lake. In the 1930s, it was diverted into Silver Lake.

Silver Lake received additional phosphorus, other nutrients and sediment from the creek, and has seen a steady decline in water quality, frequent algal blooms and an increase in aquatic vegetation since that time.

By 2001, concern over the high nutrient levels and extensive rough fish populations resulted in a project to restore the modified watershed to its more natural conditions by again separating Silver Creek from Silver Lake.

The project, completed in 2002, constructed a berm on the north side of Silver Lake, thereby separating Silver Creek from Silver Lake.

Subsequent rough fish eradication and fish restocking has also occurred. But now, the berm separating Silver Lake from Silver Creek has proven to be inadequate, resulting in overflows between the water bodies.

At a recent listening and planning session with the Manitowoc County Lakes Association, Pete Tarnowski presented the Silver Lake project background, modeling evaluation and improvements to effectively eliminate the overflow of Silver Creek into Silver Lake. 

He says: “It is unknown whether the prior modeling adequately represented both existing and proposed conditions, whether site conditions changed, or whether modeling methods have improved since this initial estimate of overflow frequency.” 

An employee of the Department of Parks and Planning, Tarnowski has been a shoreland zoning specialist. He has now assumed additional responsibilities as the county parks manager. His department has been responsible for keeping the remediation of the Silver Creek diversion and the boat launch area at Silver Lake on track. He is the point man to respond to virtually all county issues concerning area lakes, including management needs and park maintenance. 

Improvements at Silver Lake consist of removing the old boat launch box culvert structure, which was inhibiting flow during flood events, raising the berm elevation between Silver Lake and Silver Creek between the U.S. 151 structure and the boat launch, and raising the berm elevation between Silver Lake and Silver Creek between the boat launch and the current pedestrian structure to contain higher flood levels, and constructing a new truss structure crossing of Silver Creek about 60 feet downstream of its current location for access to a new boat launch location. 

The new launch will make it easier and safer to back your boat in from the parking lot without pulling into traffic from U.S. 151. 

Happy recreation and fishing!

• Sept. 16 is September Adopt-a-Beach ― a giant, Great Lakes-wide day of action. Volunteers will be cleaning up beaches all across the region ― and you can be a part of it.

Thousands of people participate in September Adopt-a-Beach every year, a day dedicated to volunteering and cleaning up Great Lakes beaches and shorelines. This effort is part of the International Coastal Cleanup, so volunteers join millions of people caring for their local shorelines all over the world. 

In Manitowoc, the Friends of the Manitowoc River Watershed will champion this world-wide effort at Silver Creek Park, University, Red Arrow Park, Warm Waters, Ferry, YMCA and Maritime Boat Launch beaches. 

All beach leaders will begin their cleanup at 9 a.m., except Red Arrow, which will start at 10 a.m., and be finished by 11 a.m.

The local group recommends you dress in layers in anticipation of Lake Michigan’s cool, windy conditions. 

The Alliance for the Great Lakes reports that last year’s Adopt-a-Beach volunteers picked up more than 40,000 pounds of litter from their local beaches and 87 percent of it was plastic.

In Manitowoc, to date, 738 volunteers have collected more than 5,000 pounds of garbage, including a box spring from a sofa rescued by canoe, and contributed 1,955 hours to make our area beaches healthier. 

Contact 920-242-1993 or fmrwinfo@gmail.com if you’re interested in joining the fun.

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• Viking Bow and Gun Club is hosting the Earl Bubolz Memorial Fall Archery Shoot this weekend, Sept. 9 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Sept. 10 from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Their course features 30 3-D targets through fields and woods. Classes are for men, women, juniors ages 13-17, and cubs 12 years and younger.

Crossbow shooters are welcome, but only have men and women classes with no restriction on age or equipment and will shoot the same course.

Their course is not ATV- or golf cart accessible.

Cost is $10 for 18 years and older and $5 for juniors and cubs. Additional rounds are shot for half price, but only the first score counts for awards.

They have a corn roast both days and rules will be available at the club. No range finders or distance measuring equipment allowed, but binoculars can be used.

They have an 80-yard novelty shoot the pot. They have free camping with toilets, water and showers available.

For more details, call Pat Blashka at 920-323-2216, Tami Maigatter at 920-242-1130, or Jon Kressig at 920-973-8042.

Viking Bow and Gun Club is at 13431 Rusch Road, Valders.

That’s it for this week, so have fun in the great outdoors.

Bob Schuh: 920-682-3106 or bobschuh@lsol.net.

READ MORE: Click here for more Manitowoc news

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