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.
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 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 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 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
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 like
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 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 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.
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.
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