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Blackwell's Silver Lake in the News


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Many here have been watching the facelift being executed on the West Branch of the DuPage River between Mack Rd and Warrenville. I know we are ready to roll up our sleeves for some enhancement work as soon as the Thorium is dredged out.

 

Nearby Silver Lake in Blackwell FP recently appeared in the bad news of the day. On Oct 12 the DuPage FPD announced that the Fall Trout Season had to be pushed back to Nov 3 due to warm water. Rumor said that the stocked trout were dying. Whether you care about those trout or not, the nerws sends us a message about the future prospects of that lake and other waters in the area.

 

I should point out that Silver Lake has been in trouble for a while. When I first became aquainted with it 15-20 years ago it was a jewel with a healthy population of bass and panfish. The clear waters showed depths of 25+ feet on the FPD maps. About 7-8 years ago I began to notice a severe drop in the water levels. At first I figured it was just the result of dry summers. But in spite of many wet springs the water level has not rebounded to its original depth. I estimate that the level is 6-7 feet below the old level. You can see where that used to be all around the shore line. The original 60 acres is probably down to 40. Given some siltation, I doubt that there are any places deeper that 15-16 feet.

 

In response to my inquiry, the fish biologist for the Forest Preserve District, told me that they are aware of the problem and watching. His speculation is that a development of 300+ homes to the north of the Lake is involved since the homes are all on wells that tap into the lake's aquifer.

 

I speculate that the zoning hearing for the development probably slipped under the radar 15-20 years ago. (We assume the developer had been generous in his campaign contributions.) Was there an impact study?

 

I know that this is not a Smallmouth lake. But it is very close to a Smallmouth river; and the lake seems to be running out of water. What does this say about the future of the West Branch? It deserves some watching.

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"I know we are ready to roll up our sleeves for some enhancement work as soon as the Thorium is dredged out."

 

 

The enhancement work is being handled by the FP,the government because it's a superfund site, private land owners ( man, was THAT a bad idea...lawns to the bank!), and Tronox( another bad idea). Most of it is already done. The smallies are nowhere to be found...but they'll find there way to that area in the next few years. But it looks nice though, for what that's worth. I tried for 2 years to get an answer about restocking the 7 mile stretch.

 

 

And the trout opener being moved? Um..yeah...that'd be global warming hard at work. It's the same reason why horticulturalists can now grow native plants from Missouri in Minnesota. I defy anyone to argue against global warming at this point. I'll be happy to march them right down to the sign at the entrance to the lake.

BUT......it is nice that summer now starts in late April and goes right up to the first week of November. I haven't even started to think about fall tactics yet. Heck, we were burning bucktails on Great Slave (2,000 miles north of here) in friggin September this year. 20 years ago you ran the risk of hitting ice up there in September (just south of the Arctic Circle).

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WOW, thought I was seeing things but I've favored that Silver Lake for the past 10 years.

The water is certainly dropping. It's sad, a good recreational/family/forest preserve lake

all at the cost of PROGRESS.

That's another political term for kill off the green, sell the land, fill the pockets w/ Green!!!!

 

Sorry, I'll get off the political soap box for now. That lake was a virtual haven for a kid who

grew up in Cook County, tripping over garbage, beer bottles & cans, and found this to be a

haven. The lake still holds fish but not for long w/out the water. It's quite a shame. Silver Lake

is such a small, diverse fishery but it won't be around forever.

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Mike G-

It's my understanding that an Environmental Impact Study only needs to take place if government funding is used. There may be local regulations, but I'm not familiar with any.

That would be a "requirement", but certainly an impact study can take place if other factors are involved and people request it.

Doesn't mean it will stop a development, however.

A farmer sells his land and somewhere down the road people want to build shopping centers and subdivisions- that's the way we bounce in this country.

Even non-riparian wetlands are toast in the current state we're in.

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