Silver Lake, Delaware, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Mid-Atlantic - Delaware - Central -

Surrounded by the city of Dover at the headwaters of the St. Jones River, Silver Lake is a beautiful place to take a break from fast paced urban life. The area’s wildlife and rich history of the “First State’s” capital city along with the cultural opportunities combine to make Silver Lake a destination to please everyone.

Delaware does not have any natural freshwater lakes. Silver Lake in Kent County is an impoundment of the St. Jones River, created by the Silver Lake-Dover Dam. Built in 1900, the dam and resultant lake are owned by the City of Dover. Silver Lake covers about 167 acres with a maximum depth of nine feet and an average depth of four feet. It is a great place to swim, boat, and fish. Silver Lake is the only Delaware reservoir where visitors can water ski.

Silver Lake hosts healthy populations of black crappie, bluegill, bullhead, and pickerel. Anglers can also find pumpkinseed, white perch, and large mouth bass. The 182-acre Silver Lake Park and Recreation Area offers a swimming beach, playground, picnic pavilion, boat ramp, and plenty of trails for hiking and biking.

Dover is Delaware’s state capital and in addition to all the amenities of a city its size, it has a very rich history. Delaware is called the nation’s “First State,” and Dover is home to the 1st State Heritage Park. Established in 2004 it is a “park without boundaries,” that links historical and cultural sites. Dover is also the home of the Dover Air Force Base and Delaware State University. Every year over 200,000 visitors come to the city to watch NASCAR races at the Dover Speedway.

Visitors who prefer more wildlife will find several refuges and wildlife areas within a few miles of Silver Lake. Little Creek Wildlife Refuge is over 4,500 acres of land and water for waterfowl, crabbing and fishing. The Ted Harvey Wildlife Area is especially known for its duck and waterfowl hunting. The Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge is almost 16,000 acres, 4/5’s of which are tidal salt marsh. On the Delaware Bay, the Refuge is part of the Atlantic Flyway, the route used by migratory birds when they travel from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. The Refuge was established in 1937 for migratory and wintering waterfowl, and it draws over 100,000 visitors a year. The Refuge includes the Alee House. Built in 1753 by Abraham Alee, it is an early brick farm house. The remarkably well preserved house is on the National Register of Historic Places.

There are two lighthouses in the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge. The Bombay Hook Lighthouse was built in 1829. The Port Mahon Lighthouse was built in the late 1800’s, but it was destroyed by fire. The Refuge also has a twelve mile round trip auto tour that is a great way to explore the area.

With recreation opportunities ranging from NASCAR racing to bird watching, a trip to Silver Lake has something to please everyone. Dover, capital city of the “First State” has any amenities or accommodations a visitor could want, With Silver Lake in the middle, it is a great Delaware getaway.

Things to do at Silver Lake DE

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Water Skiing
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • National Wildlife Refuge
  • Playground
  • NASCAR

Fish species found at Silver Lake DE

  • Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Pickerel
  • Pike
  • Pumpkinseed
  • Sunfish
  • White Perch

Silver Lake DE Photo Gallery

  • License: public domain Attribution (optional): Karen Fasimpaur

Silver Lake DE Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: City of Dover

Surface Area: 167 acres

Average Depth: 4 feet

Maximum Depth: 9 feet

Water Volume: 590 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1900

Lake Area-Population: 32,808

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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