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Vulcan Lakes/ Three Oaks recreational area in Crystal Lake, IL

Discussion in 'Central United States' started by Diver DennisP, May 26, 2010.

  1. tmp

    tmp Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Chicago,Illinois
    Here is the tihing Folks, Art runs a great shop at Sea Level and has a very informative and experienced teaching staff. I am sure they have fielded tons of calls and questions in reference to the Three Oaks facility.

    The current status of the Three Oaks Facility as it stand RIGHT NOW is as follows: Sea Level Diving (SLD) has an agreement with the city to use the scuba area for training purposes at this time and through the season. SLD to my knowledge are the only ones allowed to dive at the location currently. According to Crystal Lake they are going to use this season as a "test run" to observe impact and evaluate the potential use of the site. The City owns the property and unfortunately can do what they want HOW they want so even though SLD has got the "in" which is great for him and his students there are no current plans to make it public (again, to my knowledge). Further supporting this , is the above comment, which is completely accurate "Note: I was told by both SLD and the park office that until the entry/access is completed there is no public diving allowed.". The City is running into government red tape concerning the EPA as they control any changes or adjustments to any type or form of bed/beach/erosion area of any lake, quarry, water system etc......and hence the hang up. Even if the city is willing to allow the diving they can not do anything until it is approved by EPA. That being said the beach/sand area that they want to put in for access to the scuba area is on "hold" and the only safe access into the dive area is really to be dropped into the water by one of the sites small boats. Otherwise divers are stuck trying to haul and carrying gear over a set of what is basically boulders on the shoreline , going down about 3-4 ft tothe waters edge to get into the water....not good.

    I hope this clears up some of the confusion for anyone. Yes it would (will) be a great place to dive once opened up. Yes, I have been there (a month ago), and Yes, the above info IS accurate.

    See you all Diving (Hopefully)
  2. cwgscuba

    cwgscuba Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: United States
    Update on Three Oaks Recreation Area.

    The area is only open to divers with a class. Sea Level Diving in Crystal Lake, a few steps from Three Oaks, schedules classes. So does Chicagoland Scuba in Lake Zurich. There is no diving without a class at this time. The city has approved allowing more diving but is waiting for state grant money to upgrade Three Oaks. Until then, you need a class. Given the current Illinois fiscal situation, the funds may be a long time coming.

    I went with a class last week. The water is clear for a quarry, but silts up quickly. The site was about 35 feet, 70 degrees at depth. There were a couple of northern pike, good-sized walleye and bass, and lots of minnows. They looked like bass and bluegills. Good sized catfish are reported in the lake, but we did not see any. We saw surprisingly few mature bluegills for a northern Illinois lake. The quarry bed also has the leftovers from a gravel mining operation, stripped stone and so on. Weeds and sea grasses are plentiful and some are actually quite spectacular. The entry area is off the swimming beach and is cleared of weeds and most rocks, so it is easy entry.

    All in all, this is a pretty good site for a quarry in Illinois. Once it is totally operational -- we can hope, can't we -- it will be a nice option to running to Pearl Lake, Haigh Quarry or (brrrr) Lake Michigan.
  3. Lefty17

    Lefty17 Nassau Grouper

    Old thread but it looks like Three Oaks will finally be opening this spring. According to the Crystal Lake website and Sea Level Diving they are going to mark off an area in the NE corner and have installed a shore area and dock for divers. 45' deep and it appears Sea Level installed 3 platforms at 25'. A nice option to Haigh for us in the north and west suburbs. It's almost 40 mins closer to me than Kankakee. That will make the wife happy.

    Crystal Lake, IL : Scuba Diving Facility

    Sea Level Diving - 3 Oaks Recreation Area

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