Finding Lakes to Dive

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Dubious

Dubious

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Location
Wisconsin
If you get the chance, we have some pretty solid visibility up here on Superior in the U.P.

Thanks. We will be diving fortune pond in September and plan to take a trip up to Munising next year. My wife and I might be doing our wreck speciality in a couple of weeks.
 

SneakSnake

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WI
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Greetings All,

My wife and I have almost been diving weekly since our certification in May of this year (2019). We have quickly learned to just set the time to go diving. To make a long story short, we decided to check out a lake about 10 minutes from our home that was 47' at its deepest and had an easy shore entry via a public beach. We knew the visibility was not going to be the best, but we were surprised by how bad it was. 20' feet down I had to use my light to see my compass. Now I must admit, we have had a lot of rain so we will have to check it out again.

Here are my questions. What is the best way to find local lakes to dive? We know of lakes that are listed on various website and via our LDS, but if we want to find lakes closer to home or when we are traveling, is there anything specific we should look for besides depth. Does bottom contents and Hydrologic Lake Type play a big factor?

In Wisconsin, our department of Natural resources has a lot of great info regarding our lakes including contour maps. The lake we dove last night (07/25/19) lists the following.

"Wolf Lake is a 75 acre lake located in Fond du Lac County. It has a maximum depth of 47 feet. Visitors have access to the lake from a public boat landing. Fish include Panfish, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike and Walleye. The lake's water clarity is low."​

Facts & Figures
Name Wolf Lake​
Waterbody ID (WBIC) 60800​
Area 75 ACRES​
Maximum Depth 47 feet​
Mean Depth 19 FEET​
Bottom 25% sand, 25% gravel, 0% rock, 50% muck​
Waterbody Type lake​
Hydrologic Lake Type DRAINAGE​
County Fond du Lac​
Region NE​
Latitude, Longitude 43.86440770, -88.20813620​

Our first clue on visibility should have been the "clarity is low", but we just wanted to go get wet. That said, it doesn't seem like all of the lake profiles mention clarity.

Two weeks ago we dove Elkhart Lake which had great visibility with the following profile.

Elkhart Lake is a 292 acre lake located in Sheboygan County. It has a maximum depth of 119 feet. Visitors have access to the lake from a public boat landing. Fish include Musky, Panfish, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Trout and Walleye. The lake's water is moderately clear.​
Facts & Figures
Name Elkhart Lake​
Waterbody ID (WBIC) 59300​
Area 292 ACRES​
Maximum Depth 119 feet​
Mean Depth 46 FEET​
Bottom 42% sand, 43% gravel, 0% rock, 15% muck​
Waterbody Type lake​
Hydrologic Lake Type SPRING​
County Sheboygan​
Region SE​
Latitude, Longitude 43.82623130, -88.02509430​

Your experience and expertise are greatly appreciated.

Dubious
Good morning,

My buddy and I are in the GB area, but work in Plymouth, and we're looking for good lake dives in WI. We just did a gear check/refresher dive in a quarry in Howard and we got brain freezes (without hoods) below the 23' thermocline. We were thinking about doing Elkhart Lake since it's 5 minutes from work (Sargento Cheese) and was wondering about how the thermoclines were when you went (Says on one of your posts or comments that you dove it), what there is to see, and if there were any specific spots you'd recommend diving. (We're thinking over by the Osthoff/Fireman's Park area, since it's probably been inhabited the longest).
any advice or recommendations you have on anything would be more than welcome.
 

SneakSnake

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Oh dang, this thread is a goldmine for good WI dives. Keep them coming, folks.
 

SneakSnake

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Messages
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Location
WI
# of dives
100 - 199
Looks like you're near where I am. For inland lakes Elkhart and Crystal are the best if you can get shore access or have a boat. Horseshoe lake in manitowoc county is one of my favorites, but the visibility varies a lot there. I've had 20 feet and I've had days where I didn't even dive because it was so murky.
I'll have to add Crystal and Horseshoe to our list since they're close to work or on our way home. Would be great to get a nice early morning dive in after work (My buddy and I work 3rd)
 
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