A comprehensive evaluation of Silver Lake is now complete. The evaluation was conducted by scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Grand Valley State University (GVSU). As part of the evaluation, water quality conditions in Silver Lake were thoroughly examined and major water and nutrient inputs to the lake were measured. The evaluation included two years of intensive field sampling, followed by one year of data interpretation and a final report of findings. The results of the evaluation can be used to guide future decision-making regarding the management and health of Silver Lake.

With respect to the long-term health of Silver Lake, septic systems were found to be the largest controllable source of nutrient input to Silver Lake; installation of a sewer system would reduce the frequency and intensity of algal blooms in Silver Lake. The Summary and Conclusions of the report can be viewed by clicking here.

A complete copy of the technical report can be viewed by clicking here.

Or, you can view and download sections of the report here:

Table of Contents

Executive Summary


Study Methods and Sampling Sites

Lake Water-Quality Characteristics

Hydrology: Sources of Water and Nutrients

Nutrient Load Modeling

Summary and Conclusions

References Cited

Appendixes 1-3

Click here to visit the USGS web page for Silver Lake.

GVSU Algae Study Completed

In addition to the joint study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey and Grand Valley State University, the state of Michigan provided a grant for a study of algae growth in Silver Lake. This study was completed last year and concluded that:

  • During the course of study, the algal toxin "microcystin" in Silver Lake was far below the World Health Organization thresholds for recreational water use, indicating users of the lake were not at risk from microcystin during the monitoring period.
  • Although no nuisance blooms or high microcystin concentrations were detected during this study, Silver Lake’s nutrient-enriched state is capable of supporting them.
  • Given the high recreational value of Silver Lake, and the potential for future algal blooms, nutrient reduction strategies should be implemented in the watershed to lessen the nutrient loading [input] to the lake.

A complete copy of the algae report can be viewed by clicking here.

Oceana County, Michigan
Silver Lake Improvement Board