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Stockton Dive Trip 2003 Results


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Trip 2003

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The 2003 Scuba Adventurer Memorial weekend dive trip to Stockton Lake Missouri turned out to be a great trip. The visibility was 10 to 15 feet and the thermalcline was around 64 degrees. The weather had overcast most of the weekend with the air temperature ranging from 64 to 75 degrees during the day. There were a total of 8 people on this trip and every one seemed to have a good time. The aquatic life seen on this trip included large catfish, large bass, purch, walleye, crappie, large active clams, crayfish, and maybe a few others.
Scuba Adventurer arrived at Stockton at 10:30 pm on Friday night 23-May-2003. The cable TV was out and the air conditioning did not work well but, that was not bad considering a tornado had just went through a few weeks prior and devastated the town. The evenings were chilly and opening the windows kept the rooms plenty cool, so not having air-conditioning was not a problem.
Early Saturday morning I got up to drive by some of the dive sites and look at the access points. The dam was closed off to vehicles due to terrorist alerts but oddly enough the water patrol said we could dive it if we went to the dam by boat. stockton_carp_2.jpg (148229 bytes)
stockton_carp_1.jpg (167914 bytes)People were gathering early on the Orleans Trail Marina dock to feed the schools of huge water slurping carp. This was an impressive site of water churning from all the fish at the surface.
A total of 6 divers met at Orleans Trails Marina and Dive Shop parking lot between 9:00 and 9:30am.  With the dam being closed off and two dive sites being off limits to vehicles, we started looking at the lake map for alternative dive sites. We decided to go to Hawker Point which we had never dove stockton_hawker_point_1.jpg (209586 bytes)before. Arriving at Hawker Point we found the the water access points to be close to the parking lot and the entrances to be relatively easy. The visibility was between 10 and 15 feet with a bottom terrain of large stockton_hawker_point_2.jpg (190397 bytes)rocks and some fish. Hawker Point is a nice dive site and will be added to the Scuba Adventurer recommended dive locations. Looking across the lake from Hawker Point Dive site, Bridge 215 can be seen.
The second dive was at Bridge 215 which turned out to be the Stockton_bridge_215_1.jpg (153242 bytes)best accessible dive site during  this trip. The water was about 64 degrees at the thermalcline and the visibility was about 15 feet. There were a lot of large seemingly sluggish fish in the area along with stumps, ledges, lots of crevices, boulders and other nice bottom terrain. 
After this dive we returned to the pavilion by the pool at Owl Haven Resort were two more joined the adventure and Scuba Adventurer stockton_owl_haven_1.jpg (146767 bytes)provided grilled hamburgers and hotdogs for everyone on the trip.
The third dive of the day was at the 1560 south boat ramp. We arrived to find several fisherman at this site so we entered the water to the right of the parking area. This was also a good dive, but there were not as many fish as normal. 
The next morning we met in our room at Owl Haven Resort between 9:00 and 9:30am. We looked over the lake map and decided to dive "THE WALL" located by Crabtree Cove. This was another dive site that we had not dove in the past. Going to the dive site we had a nice Sunday drive down several roads that had no markings on the map or on the roads. The road leading down to this dive site was deceiving and looked more like a long un-maintained farm driveway that had overgrown trees advancing in from edges and it looked likestockton_the_wall_1.jpg (186553 bytes) it may be an extremely muddy drive if there is much rain. The road had a small opening at the end of it by the water that was just big enough for the cars in our group to fit. Entering the water was extremely easy with the end road slightly slanted leading past the waters stockton_the_wall_2.jpg (185305 bytes)edge. Diving from the entrance at the end of the road, the water reaches depths greater then 30 feet and there is a ledge that starts off the bottom and rises about 5 feet that can be swam along heading directly south. To the right of the dive area, the water remains shallow and pretty much flat with little to no formations. Getting out of the water we found a nice campfire waiting at the edge of the water for the divers. This was nice with there still being a heavy overcast and the air temperature being about 64 degrees.  We stayed around the campfire eating snacks and talking about our next dive of the day. The decision was made by everyone to dive bridge 215 again. We arrived at bridge 215 to find some fisherman, but not enough to restrict our diving activities. The air temperature was still cold and there was an overcast. One of the divers sat out during this dive trying to regain some body heat that was drained from the days activities. The water looked better this day with the overcast taking away any Stockton_bridge_215_1.jpg (178156 bytes)glares allowing us to see deep into the water from the surface and watch fish swimming around beneath. After diving  for about 30 minutes the water brightened up with the sky beginning to clear and by the time we finished the dive the sun was out and the air temperature had heated up dramatically.
We took tanks for air fills and returned to Owl Haven Resort for more grilled hamburgers and hotdogs. We all talked for a couple of hours before returning to get the tanks and calling it a day.
stockton_bridge_215_2.jpg (159066 bytes)Monday morning the sun was out and the temperature quickly rose to 75 degrees. By this time there were three divers left to enjoy the warmth of the sun and the bright water conditions. For the last dive we dove bridge 215 and stayed under the brightly lit water for a little over an hour. We then tore down our equipment, packed things up one last time and sat along the waters edge talking and enjoying the nice day before the journey home. This was a nice trip to start this years dive season off great. I look forward to returning to Stockton, Missouri for more excellent diving.


Article Provided by:
Chris Stephens        
Scuba Adventurer