Silver Lake Restoration Project Description

Shallow lake management is a challenging, and often frustrating, endeavor because so many factors control water quality. The interactions between water and sediment chemistry, fish populations, submersed aquatic vegetation, and other factors make predicting changes in water quality difficult. Further, the fact that lakes exist in alternative stable states, a plant versus algae dominated condition, makes restoration frustrating because water quality improvements are not always perceivable until a major change, such as biomanipulation, occurs.
The Wenck team has developed a shallow lake restoration framework based on developing Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) studies, shallow lake restoration plans, and internal phosphorus load studies for over 100 shallow lakes in the Upper Midwest. The purpose of this framework is to develop a detailed understanding of stakeholder goals, define the issues and water quality drivers, develop a lake response framework to make science-based decisions, and to ensure restoration dollars are used efficiently. This approach goes beyond typical lake response modeling and describes expected water quality response to phosphorus reductions, carp management, reductions in wind resuspension, and other restoration impacts to water clarity.

Wenck’s framework will be applied to Silver Lake to provide the City of Lake Park, the IDNR, and other key stakeholders a scientific approach for restoring Silver Lake and result in a lake restoration strategy and sequence that achieves lasting improvements in lake quality. The process will be stakeholder driven, allowing the community to develop a plan that meets their desired outcomes. The process will focus on sound, shallow lake and watershed science with the ultimate goal of restoring Silver Lake in the most feasible and cost-effective manner as possible. The Wenck team recognizes that the SWCD already completed a watershed assessment through the development of a watershed management plan. We see this as an excellent start and seek to integrate additional management approaches into this foundation to develop a comprehensive restoration effort.

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The Wenck Team has brought together a group of five highly respected engineering and consulting firms to provide the City of Lake Park and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) expertise in key areas for the Silver Lake restoration project. This team has a long history of working together including a fifteen-year partnership between Wenck and the University of Wisconsin-Stout studying shallow lakes and over 20 successfully completed projects partnering with Stanley Consultants. Our team also includes Carp Solutions to bring cutting edge carp management techniques to the project, and Instill Consulting is looking forward to working with the Iowa communities to lead the community-based planning process.