Silver Lake is located a short distance northwest of Letchworth State Park, in eastern Wyoming County. The lake originated several thousand years ago when retreating glaciers left western New York.
Elevation: 1,355 feet
Area: 836 acres
Shoreline Length: 7.4 miles
Max Depth: 37 feet
Mean Depth: 25 feet
Public access for trailered launching of boats and canoes is provided at Silver Lake State Park, located at the south end of the lake off West Lake Road (4229 W. Lake Rd., Castile, NY). Ice anglers have additional access at the Village of Perry Park and Public Beach located on the northeast side of the lake, near the intersection of Walker Rd. and Euclid Ave. This site was improved by the Village of Perry in 2010 with a grant from the DEC Habitat/Access Stamp Fund.
Silver Lake is a balanced and productive fishery providing angling for largemouth bass, walleye, northern pike and several species of panfish. Dense beds of aquatic vegetation, particularly at the north and south ends, provide excellent habitat for bass and other predator and prey fish species. Anglers should note that the lake can experience oxygen depletion below depths of 20 feet from June-September.
Panfish: Silver Lake's most common panfish include bluegill, pumpkinseed, yellow perch, black crappie and brown bullhead. Bluegill and pumpkinseed are abundant and provide good action year-round, especially during ice fishing season. Yellow perch fishing has improved in recent years, and DEC surveys have shown yellow perch at very high abundance. Black crappie are generally present in lower numbers. However, anglers see good crappie action during late ice and after ice-out. Live baits such as minnows and worms usually produce the best perch and sunfish catches, but small jigs and lures also work well. Bullhead are most active after sunset and can be taken using nightcrawlers and scented baits, especially in spring.
Northern Pike and Walleye: Walleye were successfully restored in Silver Lake through a fingerling stocking program initiated by the DEC in 1983. The stocking program was discontinued in 1996, and the walleye population has since been sustained by natural reproduction. Walleye from 14 different year classes were collected in a recent DEC survey, confirming a self-sustaining population with a strong year class structure. Walleye are moderately abundant in Silver Lake and have good growth rates, reaching legal size (15 inches) in their 3rd summer. Popular lures for walleye in Silver Lake are floating minnow imitation stickbaits or jigs tipped with bait. Try casting into shallow weedy areas at night. Trolling with a minnow imitation lure or a worm harness is also a good technique.
Northern pike, which reproduce naturally, provide anglers with the opportunity for a true trophy. Northern pike in Silver Lake can exceed 35 inches in length, although fish 18 - 25 inches are much more common. Large, live minnows or 8 - 12 inch minnow imitation stickbaits will take some nice fish.
Largemouth Bass: Largemouth bass are fairly abundant in Silver Lake and exhibit moderate growth rates. There are good numbers of bass in the 12 - 15 inch size group, with decent numbers of 16"+ bass roaming the lake. The lake's abundant forage and dense aquatic vegetation beds offer excellent cover for largemouth bass, and anglers should not pass up these areas. Bass anglers frequently have success with spinner baits, surface plugs, plastic worms, crank baits and live bait, such as crayfish and shiners.