Formed by glaciers and rimmed by glacial drumlins, Silver Lake is nestled amid rural farms and historic communities.
In the 1800s thousands of people came by train to the east side depot to attend lectures at the Chautauqua-like Institute grounds, swim, skate, dance, stay at Walker Hotel, study art and ride the excursion boats. Early lake-dependent businesses included icehouses and gristmills. Today, boating, swimming and fishing draw many visitors to this idyllic lake year-round.
Just a half-mile wide, and three miles long with a maximum depth of 37 feet, Silver Lake is the first New York lake to freeze in winter.
Known for its panfish, the lake has more anglers on hardwater than in summer. It hosts several contests year-round. The largest is the North American Ice Fishing Championship Tournament series in which contestants placing in the top 15 spots are eligible to earn points toward the national championship title.
Purse payouts are dependent upon numbers of two-person team entries. On Silver Lake, the NAIFC anglers who reel in the heaviest total of 8 perch and 8 bluegill win the series trophy, purse and more importantly, the bragging rights. That's what the 2008 winners Zbigniew “Zibi” Wojcik and Jacek Gawlinski of Illinois said about it. They caught 8 of each species for a total weight of 7.07 pounds. It's all about the bragging rights....
The Silver Lake Sea Serpent is a beloved mascot that has lured the curious since anglers saw it in 1855.
Parks & Outdoors
Boat Launch Access Points:
No central leasing source exists but owners often post ads in the Perry Shopper (585-237-2212 or www.perryshopper.com) or call Mack's Boat Livery, 585-237-5983.
Where is it?