Fisheries on Silver Lake 

Do you know what fish species live in Silver Lake?  Got a big one and want to share pictures and story with others, let us know about it.  Got a question about fishing in our lake, we'll try to help. 







                ... and what a day it was ........

A total of 28 kids and their families showed up bright and early at 8:00 a.m., prepared to fish!

         ....  and fish they did .... followed by the weigh in with prizes awarded and a great lunch to enjoy and share  their tales of how they caught their treasures!

  • Grand Champion, 2 years running was Caden Bogard with a 17" Bass and 9.5" Blue Gill
  • Biggest Bass, Hayden Schell - a 18" Largemouth Base
  • Biggest Overall Fish, Julian Tucker - a 26" Northern Pike
  • Smallest Fish, Caleb Chinlund - a 1.5" Blue Gill



                  Caden Bogard                                                    Hayden Schell



              .... and they all fished .....

Thank you to Tom Thompson for organizing and carrying out this special day for these special Silver Lake Kids and families!

These are the pictures we have - If you were part of this event and you have pictures, please do send so we can add.

 .......... and do plan ahead and get ready for next year`s annual event!



2021 - Silver Lake Kids Fishing Tournament … and what a day it was!

Bright and early on June 12th, free fishing weekend in Michigan, 20 kids and their families gathered at the boat launch to start the competition – and competition it was!

Shouts of glee as fish were landed, large and small … all were saved.

Then back to the landing for lauds of praise and prizes were rewarded to all for their efforts!

Then to cap it off, they enjoyed a great lunch provided for them and an opportunity to share their fishing stories with each other – all agreed it had been a great time and definitely would want this to become an annual event on Silver Lake.

Looking forward to an even greater event on free-fishing weekend in 2022, please do plan on participating, will send notices out in the spring.


Tom Thompon, Fisheries Committee Chair



Let us have a fishing contest on Silver Lake again!


Years ago, the SLIA sponsored a fishing tournament with great participation, especially amond the "Youngsters".  (Please enjoy the above pics of the participants having a good time with these contests.)  Over the years it fizzled out as these kids grew up.  It seems like a good time to resurrect this popular event.  We are looking at free fishing weekend next summer on June 13 or 14, 2020.

The thought would be to have different divisions or age groups with appropriate prizes.  I would appreciate replies from you indicating your interest in such an event, as I work on firming up the details over the winter in time to publish in the spring newsletter, gmail, and website.

Contact Tom Thompsom, Fisheries Committee Chair via this website with your interest, suggestions, etc., and let us make it happen.


Fishing on Silver Lake

There`s something about a kid and a fishing pole!

Caden Bogard, proudly sporting his Silver Lake Fishing hat from last summer ...   

"Sissy, I can`t play anymore right now - I`ve got to go with Grandpa and catch a "Big Fish"  ... and HE DID!




Jack Eilers, 2 1/2 and Henry Wilson, 6 - both caught their very "first" fish while vacationing on Silver Lake, summer of 2018.  They are proudly sporting  Silver Lake hats for their efforts!


                                                             Fishing contest winners - bass are good!


   Dad is holding, but I caught him!                                     ^ This kid grew up but he is still at it!


       It takes a pair!                     Wintertime is the best time ...                10# - 34"  What a catch!


     Ice Fishing - what a catch of perch!

Memories of the way it was!    (Pics taken from the memoirs of the Old Silver Lake Inn, eras 1930, 1940)




 INFORMATION ON STOCKING,  ETC.   (History and Current) 

  • Fisheries Report - 2023 - Tom Thompson, SLIA Fisheries Committee:
    • Scheduled spring Walleye planting was accomplished with approximately 250,000 leftover Walleye Frye planted by the DNR.  No fish survey has been done this spring, but this fall they are planning on an electro survey and then later a net survey.
  • Fisheries Report - 2022 - Tom Thompson, SLIA Fisheries Committee:
    •  Scheduled spring Walleye planting was not completed because of fish die-offs in the hatchery, will be scheduled for stocking in the spring of 2023.

  • Fisheries Report - 2021 - Tom Thompson, SLIA Fisheries Committee:
    • Scheduled spring Walleye planting was accomplished, with a shortage of fingerlings, but extra fry included.  A survey count is scheduled for spring 2022.
  • Fisheries Report - 2020 - Tom Thompson, SLIA Fisheries Committee:
    • Scheduled fish stocking was cancelled by the DNR for 2020 due to Covid scheduling problems.
  • Fisheries Report 2019 - Ken Kleinrichert, SLIA Fisheries Committee:
    • Silver Lake is not scheduled for Walleye planting in 2019, but are scheduled for 30,000 Fingerlings in the spring of 2020.  If they do have a surplus of Walleye in 2019, Silver Lake is on the priority list to receive them, if we do, Ken will advise.
  • Fisheries Report 2018 - Ken Kleinrichert, SLIA Fisheries Committee:
    • On May 1, 2018 - The Michigan DNR planted 1,916,667 Walleye Frye in Silver Length, the length was 0.2".
    • FYI - for those who are interested, this information is available on the above mentioned website.
  • Fisheries Report 2017 -  Ken Kleinrichert participated in a DNR fish count on the lake, summer 2017, the weather was poor and the count was low.  However they did say they have been receiving reports of quite a few large walleye being caught, indicating the plantings are surviving and growing.  
  • Fisheries Report 2016  - Ken Kleinrichert reports that on June 18, 2016 the DNR planted  32,399 Walleye yearlings into Silver lake,  they were an average size of 1.31 inches.  This appears to be a planting of surplus as Silver Lake is scheduled for a 3 year planting cycle, the next scheduled planting would be in 2018.   They are scheduling a  Fish Count for the 2017, if we hear anything different we will keep you posted.

•  Fisheries Report 2015  - Scot Ogden reports that on April 24, 2015 the DNR planted  134,800 Walleye Fry into Silver lake,  they were an average size of 0.2 inches.

•  On April 29, 2015 the DNR planted an additional 700 000 Walleye Fry, these Fry were an average size of 0.12 inches

•  On May 4, 2015 they planted an additional  350,000  Walleye Fry into Silver Lake, these Fry were an  average size of 0.12 inches.  

The reason for this Fry planting was because they had a crop overage in their hatcheries in the spring.

The next scheduled planting of Walleye Fingerlings into Silver Lake is scheduled for the spring of 2016.

•  Fisheries Report 2013  - Scot Ogden reports that on June 12, 2013, the DNR planted 30,414 Walleye         Fingerlings into Silver Lake, the average size being 1.276 inches.

  • Fisheries Report 2011– Ron Clingaman reported that he had been in contact with the DNR regarding planting of Walleye in Silver Lake.  They have normally been planted every three years, the last planting was 35,000 in 2008, so we would have been scheduled for this summer.  The DNR will not be planting this year due to a disease, “VHS”, in the hatchery.  Because of this disease they anticipate 2012 or 2013 before the next planting.  Ron checked into the price to stock ourselves, but the price is too high so that would not be feasible.  The cost would be $2.00 per fish at a cost of $50,000. for 30,000 fish.  It clearly points out what a good deal it has been to have Silver Lake stocked by the DNR over the years. 
  • Fish stocking by DNR:
  • Last fish count and sizes  (August 2007 annual meeting, Todd Kalish presented a slide presentation on latest Silver Lake fish survey and habitat of various fish.  Everyone enjoyed his knowledge and presentation.  (More info will be added to website.) 




Fishing Contests On Silver Lake

Over the years,  fishing contests for the kids have been sponsored by the SLIA.  The kids who participated in the first contests have grown up, we hope they have fond memories of those times.  Because of uncooperative weather on contest days, lack of participation or whatever else, the contests are not being held at this time, perhaps someone with a passion will step forward to volunteer their time to resurrect this fun event!

For a trip down memory lane, see pictures of these contests on this website under newsletters.  They can be found in August 2004 (the 1st contest), October 2007, October 2009, October 2010, October 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016 - Enjoy!




(See next paragraph for details)

When recently asked about progress on the fish passage, Garfield Township Trustees indicated the project was dropped due to negative comments they had received. The Township has been advised of the pro fish passage sentiment expressed at the annual meeting.  If you have an opinion about the fish passage, let Garfield Township know about it.  E-mail of the Township Supervisor at  Township mailing address is: Garfield Township, 3848 Veterans Drive, Traverse City, MI 49684.

For some years now the possibility of opening a channel (fish passage) between Silver Lake and the pond north of the lake has been under discussion.  The fish passage would re-establish a connection from the lake to the pond and provide spawning habitat for Northern Pike, Perch, Bluegills and Pumkinseeds. Development of the lakeshore has destroyed the natural spawning habitat.

The following concerns have been expressed if a fish passage is established:

  1. A farming operation on the pond may have polluted the waters.  An evaluation should be made to be sure any pollutants present would not harm Silver Lake should a fish passage be constructed.
  2. A passage between the lake and pond would adversely affect lake and/or pond levels. An engineering study should be conducted to ensure that the proposed channel would not adversely affect water levels.
  3. The pond hosts a population of leeches. A channel would enable the leeches to migrate into Silver Lake.
  4. Boat traffic between the lake and pond would be an annoyance to nearby property owners.

 Our understanding of the status of the concerns is:

  1. Possible pond pollution has not been addressed.
  2. The lake and pond are in the same aquifer, are hydraulically connected, and consequently have the same level. Garfield Township has had measurements made that showed this to be the case.  The channel would not significantly affect lake or pond levels.
  3. According to the DNR, leeches much prefer the warm, muddy pond habitat to the lake.  Migration from the pond would be minimal and would not significantly affect recreation on the lake.
  4. The passage would not be navigable.  A low bridge that would block navigation would be required.

 At the 2007 SLIA annual meeting a motion was unanimously passed (74 members present) asking the association board to encourage Garfield Township to proceed with investigation of the fish passage.

Also at the 2007 annual meeting Todd Kalish, local DNR fisheries biologist, noted that DNR Fisheries Division was in favor of the fish passage as it would provide great spawning habitat.