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Old 08-16-2016, 06:30 PM   #1
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Default Scuba diving in Lake Erie

Anyone on the forum that goes scuba diving in Lake Erie? How good is the visibility? Is it necessary to take diving lessons even when you are only diving 50' or less?

I am interested in learning how to scuba dive in the lake so I'm hoping someone can answer my questions and give me some advice.
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Old 08-16-2016, 07:06 PM   #2
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I scuba, about 150 dives so far, but only a couple times in fresh water, none in Lk Erie so can't comment on that part of your post.

Yes, you should take lessons even if "only"50 feet. Most reef dives I do are no deeper than that, more light and stuff up higher any way. You can die in a lot less than 50 feet of water diving if you don't know what you are doing.

Did I mention take lessons, get certified? Look up a dive shop near you, see what they offer.
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Old 08-16-2016, 07:21 PM   #3
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sorry russ, but federal laws prevent anyone your age or over from free diving in any of the great lakes.
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Old 08-16-2016, 07:24 PM   #4
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I'm just yankin' your chain. Wish I could tell ya where to turn for lessons etc. "I"m sure theres a place near Toledo.though. google is your friend
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Old 08-16-2016, 07:51 PM   #5
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I'm a diver and so is my father in law. He has dove the lake tons of times all the way back to the 90's when SCUBA was still up and coming. I have yet to go out on Erie even though we both say we always will and both of us have boats capable of going out. Visibility is junk but there is still tons of cool stuff to see is what he tells me.

As far as lessons, it is absolutely necessary. Get certified and don't play around when it comes to diving. You will do an open water dive for your cert and they do them in the quarries around Toledo all the time. Diving without experience is a good way to wake up dead.
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Old 08-16-2016, 08:07 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Boataholic View Post
sorry russ, but federal laws prevent anyone your age or over from free diving in any of the great lakes.
My age?! I don't recall mentioning my age so how do you know? That was a good one!

Thanks for the info about taking SCUBA lessons. How long does it take to get certified? Are we talking 3-4 lessons over a month or much more than that?
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Old 08-17-2016, 08:42 AM   #7
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Thanks for the info about taking SCUBA lessons. How long does it take to get certified? Are we talking 3-4 lessons over a month or much more than that?

I think it's 40 hours or so? Usually done exactly how you said, 3-4 lessons and then an open dive test. It isn't too difficult, there is a pretty easy swim test to complete at the beginning, but you can take as long as you need and finish any way you want. Well worth it, find a dive shop in your area and ask who the most reputable instructors are in the area. They will all have their opinions (and probably recommend themselves) so do a little research and go with it. There are several licensing authorities in the world and I do know some are more recognized than others, but usually you're good as long as you have one of the bigger organizations.
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Old 08-17-2016, 09:11 AM   #8
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I think it's 40 hours or so? Usually done exactly how you said, 3-4 lessons and then an open dive test. It isn't too difficult, there is a pretty easy swim test to complete at the beginning, but you can take as long as you need and finish any way you want. Well worth it, find a dive shop in your area and ask who the most reputable instructors are in the area. They will all have their opinions (and probably recommend themselves) so do a little research and go with it. There are several licensing authorities in the world and I do know some are more recognized than others, but usually you're good as long as you have one of the bigger organizations.
Thanks again for the info! I looked online and there is a dive shop in the same city I live in so I will be contacting them next week for lessons.
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Old 08-17-2016, 09:19 AM   #9
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I dove Lake Erie back in the late 80's a few times right after getting my certification.


Dove outside of Buffalo Harbor a few times and over near Ft. Erie (I think that is what it was called.. on the Canadian side)


Had some fun messing around rock piles and watching fish


One experience the dive master told us that someone had once found a Spanish galleon at this one particular site, so we looked for coins. My heart raced as I found one with Spanish imprints, thought I hit the mother load! Turned out to be a Mexican peso which was worth about a penny but still pretty fun


Found some really old bottles and a knife that was roughly 100 years old


Other than that, don't really remember much as it was a long time ago
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Old 08-17-2016, 12:55 PM   #10
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There is a guy that regularly dives around the docks at Put-In-Bay and Kelley's Island. The first time I seen him he was diving really early in the morning and I heard the bubbles before I seen him. I talked to him for a minute and he pulled up a net that had wallets, watches, sun glasses, cell phones, etc in it. I don't know if he is hired by someone or if he is just a guy that does it. He said it's crazy the stuff he finds.


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Old 08-19-2016, 12:37 PM   #11
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I used to dive Lake Erie a lot and many of my friends dive it very frequently. Bay Area Divers has lots of people that constantly are out diving the shipwrecks in Lake Erie.

Lake Erie visibility can be all over the map. some days you can't see 2 inches, others you have 20+ ft of visibility.

Here are a couple Pics from the Willis in 70 ft of water taken this summer about 30 miles east of Pelee. This wreck is notorious for being cold and dark. we had 15-20 ft of visibility when we dove this a few weeks ago.
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Old 08-19-2016, 12:40 PM   #12
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These pictures are from the F.H. Prince off the east side of Kelleys Island (just off runway).

This wreck is marked with a mooring ball by the Maritime Archeological Survey Team (MAST).
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Old 08-19-2016, 12:41 PM   #13
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Also, if you are planning to get certified, go see Rod Althaus at New Wave Scuba in Port Clinton. That's probably who you saw diving the docks in the fall at PIB.
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Old 08-19-2016, 01:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
These pictures are from the F.H. Prince off the east side of Kelleys Island (just off runway).
I ran an underwater camera around this wreck but it got hung up on discarded fishing line and I was lucky to get it back. This wreck is a smallmouth bass hot spot and unfortunately to many people know about it.

Thanks for the pics now I'm even more interested.
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Old 08-26-2016, 07:28 PM   #15
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I plan on getting certified next year. Won't do much good where I'm at but can't wait to do some diving in the keys.
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Old 09-07-2016, 05:00 PM   #16
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There is actually a dive shop right in Erie right near Presque Isle Bay. I'm sure you could locate it with a quick Googlr search. I bet they have all the info you are looking for.
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Old 09-09-2016, 02:10 PM   #17
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There is actually a dive shop right in Erie right near Presque Isle Bay. I'm sure you could locate it with a quick Googlr search. I bet they have all the info you are looking for.
Ok thanks for the info.

Just curious if you are a Cleveland Brown's fan??
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Old 09-10-2016, 06:34 AM   #18
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Ok thanks for the info.

Just curious if you are a Cleveland Brown's fan??
Not a chance in hell. I live in Steelers Country!
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Old 09-17-2016, 12:14 PM   #19
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Not a chance in hell. I live in Steelers Country!
I was being sarcastic.....I'm a huge Steeler's fan too, my daughter and I have matching Steeler tattoo's. My whole family are loyal Steeler fans.

What happens if someone puts a Cleveland Browns sign in their yard? When you are born do your parents have to sign something that says you are and always will be a Steeler's fan?
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Old 09-17-2016, 12:21 PM   #20
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Water is really cold, invest in dry suit or really good wet suit.
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