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Recent Lake Pleasant conditions/reports

Discussion in 'Southwestern Region' started by booth22, May 21, 2008.

  1. ScubaSteve2000

    ScubaSteve2000 Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Phoenix, AZ
    761
    22
    Bill, Mark J and I hiked Vista Point on Saturday. Then we went diving. Surface temps were 85 VT3 degrees. There was an abrupt thermocline at 49 feet. I haven't downloaded my dive computer but it felt like a 15ยบ or better temperature change. Vis ranged from yucky to braille. The lake is just one big nav course right now. The placard signifying the beginning of the Balde Runner course was in about a foot of water on Saturday. It may be out of the water today.
    To the folks who got certified this weekend, if you can dive in these conditions you can dive anywhere.
    We trudged probably 100+ yards down to the shore line from the parking area ever thankfull for the steps cut into the side of the hill. After rinsing masks and donning fins we swam out about 30 yards from shore before descending.

    We planned to dive north to the wall, then descend down the wall and swim up the ramp while hugging the wall to about 30 feet where we would cross the ramp . We would pause at the bottom of the wall to make sure we all made it thus far and again at the rail to make sure we all made it across the ramp. After that we would see if we could find a nice pile of rocks and boulders in the Spring Canyon area.

    When descending on the first dive I ended up almost impailing myself on a tree branch. I couldn't see it when I started down but at about 10 feet I suddenly became aware of what looked like squid-like tenticals reaching up from below. Yikes! The tenticles became boughs of a tree and I was right in the middle of them. I twisted and rolled and finned my way out of trouble. I saw Mark holding his belly with one hand and his reg in his mouth with the other. From the amount of bubbles he was sending to the surface I could only guess he was laughing his ass off.

    The rest of the dive went according to plan. We dropped down the wall and passed through an abrupt thermocline at 49 feet before we reached the bottom at 52 feet. After a few seconds Mark indicated he was getting cold. Laugh at me eh? We were in tee shirts and trunks while Bill was wearing a shorty. I found the chilly waters bracing and wasn't in a hurry to swim out of it. Who's laughing now? Just kidding. We ascended to a more comfortable depth and followed the boat ramp up to about 30 feet before crossing over to the rail.

    After a few course adjustments we found some good sized boulders to explore. One of the advantages to the current conditions is the extended dive time we enjoy because we're keeping the dive relatively shallow. We surprised a couple of catfish and played with some bass that seemed on the lazy side. The bass were young adults and they seemed to display the behaviour we see just before and early in spawning season in as much as they wanted to stay in one place and wouldn't move unless you were almost touching them. Or maybe they were just a couple of bachelors hanging out looking for some action.

    The lake is what it is and it isn't going to get any better any time soon. Still beats the heck out of not diving though. See you at the lake...or not.
     
  2. milkmood

    milkmood Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Arizona
    95
    5
    Wonder if it's possible that the top of the old dam will be dry this year. Could it get to that point?
     
  3. Jax

    Jax Deplorable American ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: AZ TX
    26,737
    8,996
    Excellent trip report, Steve! :clapping:

    I think I'll head south next time . . . :chuckle:
     
  4. scadreau

    scadreau Instructor, Scuba

    179
    49
    Steve,

    You are about dead on with that thermocline drop. I showed 70* at 78 feet this weekend.

    Viz was not good at all. There were times when I couldn't see my buddy even though I had touch contact with him.

    As Steve said, if you don't freak out in these conditions while diving you will be good anywhere.
     
  5. ScubaSteve2000

    ScubaSteve2000 Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Phoenix, AZ
    761
    22
    Yeah. Somebody described the zero viz conditions as "unnerving". But he kept it together, finished the dive and had a great time.
     
  6. ScubaSteve2000

    ScubaSteve2000 Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Phoenix, AZ
    761
    22
    I doubt it. At the lake's lowest level last year (about 1650 elevation) the top of the old dam was still around 60 feet below the surface. Today the elevation is 1643. They'd have to take the lake down to below 1590. Then again it would be cool to freak out boaters by "walking" across the lake. On second thought they killed the last guy who did that.
     
    stnichols likes this.
  7. scadreau

    scadreau Instructor, Scuba

    179
    49
    Went out this past Monday with Krispy for a couple dives.

    We were off DT and the water was balmy (86*) until the 'cline at 42'. It dropped to 76* on my TUSA.

    Since he is a newly certified diver we only dropped to 59 feet but the light penetration wasn't too bad considering the suspension right now.

    Viz was all over the place. Some spots were 5' - 7' and some were blackout. Most of the time, we had a few feet.

    **Edit: Lake Pleasant Water Surface Elevation: 1637.30 if anyone cares to know how low it is right now.
     
    Jax likes this.
  8. Jax

    Jax Deplorable American ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: AZ TX
    26,737
    8,996
  9. Jax

    Jax Deplorable American ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: AZ TX
    26,737
    8,996
    I think we ended up SE of the "e" of "Sunset Cove" on this map: South Lake Pleasant Inset

    Vis was 12" - 18"
    Temp was 81
    Vis dropped to 2" at 15fsw.
    Water level 1632.4 or 1634.2.
     
  10. pdelannoy

    pdelannoy Contributor

    227
    35
    Gunning for the Dam

    ow_aerial.jpg

    Today I dove off the point at the end of the dirt road that takes you beyond the north marina at Vista Point. My goal was to reach the dam. I made three dives for a total of 75 minutes of bottom time. I used a map that Chad Conner had sent me last year and sited on a buoy I think someone has left to mark the east end of the dam which was 240 degrees. I aborted the first two dives because of shallow water--5-20 feet with boats gunning overhead. On the third dive I took a 180 degree heading and found deeper water on the left side of the submerged ridge. I ran two reels of line holding a contour at 25-35 feet of depth, found a brand new barbeque which I tied off, and eventually came to a huge concrete structure--thought I was home free--not so. The structure is a foundation of a huge building that I think is close to the dam. I tied off to it and came home. Maybe we'll hit the dam on the next try.

    In the photo, you can see two buildings. I circumnavigated the one on the left. Success is close at hand.:D
     
    Jax likes this.

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