DIVING THE ST. CLAIR RIVER
 
 
 
 
St. Clair River Tips: 

The St. Clair River is known to almost every Great Lakes area diver, particularly in Michigan and Ontario.  It is some of the most exhilarating diving you will find in the area, with generally the most freshwater life you will ever see.  One of the biggest factors in diving the river is the amount of visibility you will have.  There are some areas that can be quite good, and others that are always poor.  It all depends on the weather conditions and the winds. 

Some of the most valuable resources to the St. Clair river diver are the water treatment plants located along the US side between Port Huron and Algonac.  Several times daily they perform water measurements in the river to access its condition.  The reading they take that is particularly useful is one of TURBIDITY.  This is an index (logorithmic) of water clarity.  The lower the number, the clearer the water.  The general baseline is tap water, which has a turbidity reading of 0.05.  If you ever hear of the river having a 0.05 turbidity reading - call every single diver you know - its time for a real party!  Or the water plant guy is really yanking your air hose.  Unfortunately, the conditions are never this good.  However, there are many times in Port Huron where the visibility will exceed many popular salt water diving hot spots, with close to the amount of fish life.  Below are some turbidity generalizations to help plan your river dives.  They are not scientifically derived, nor just made up... just based on good ol' experience (T= TURBIDITY).  Oh, also the water plants will give you water temperatures - particularly useful as the colder months approach.  The river can be colder than 32°F in the winter (due to the flowing water) and generally exceeds 70°F in the late summer. 
 

 

PORT HURON:  WATER PLANT 810-984-9780
(also a good indicator for Sarnia)
GENERAL RULE IS DIVE WITH ANYTHING T<1.00
T<0.40-0.50 MEANS VIS AROUND 30-50 FT. DIVE NOW!

T=1.0 WILL GIVE U VIS OF 15-20 FT.

MORE THAN 1.0 MAKES IT A REAL PAIN BECAUSE OF THE HEAVIER CURRENTS AND BAD VIS <10 FT.

IT IS GENERALLY NOT RECOMMENDED.
ST. CLAIR:  WATER PLANT 810-329-7121 VISIBILITY CHANGES SOUTH OF PORT HURON DUE TO THE INFLUX OF THE BLACK RIVER.  VIS WILL RARELY GET OVER 20 FEET.  IF ITS GOOD IN PORT HURON, IT WILL LIKELY BE GOOD ALL TEH WAY SOUTH TO ALGONAC.
MARINE CITY:  WATER PLANT 810-765-8087 SAME AS ST. CLAIR
ALGONAC:  WATER PLANT 810-794-3281 A COMMON SAYING TO RIVER DIVERS IS THAT  NO MATTER HOW BAD THE VIS IS IN THE RIVER, THERE IS ALWAYS ALGONAC.  THAT IS BECAUSE ALGONAC IS ALWAYS BAD.  HOWEVER, THERE IS BAD AND THEN THERE IS "BETTER TO DIVE IN A LOCAL SEWER."
T=10 WILL PROBABLY GIVE YOU 5-10 FEET MAX

T=22 WILL GIVE YOU ABOUT 6 INCHES OR LESS
 
AS ALWAYS, PLEASE PRACTICE SAFE, RESPONSIBLE DIVING
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