E Bauer Rd,
Black River Falls,
Lake Wazee Dive Site
Lake Wazee (Wazee Lake) is the deepest lake in Wisconsin. It was created when the Jackson County Taconite Mine was closed and the ground water allowed to refill the site. At it’s deepest, Wazee is 351′, well beyond recreational limits. There are platforms at 35′, 70′ and 90′ for recreational use.
There are several required fees to dive here:
Vehicles – $3.00 Daily pass, $25.00 Annual pass, $12.00 Annual pass – 2nd vehicle per address
Diving – $10.00 Daily pass, $75.00 Annual pass
Camping – $12.00 per night, per tent/camper, $7.00 reservation fee
At each dive site on the lake, there are paved parking areas with a sometimes long but gentle slope to the dive entry. Each dive usually is a short drive from our camp site to the dive site. Gear up out of your vehicle and walk down to the water.
There are many entry points with names like The Wall, Bluegill Alley, The Gardens, Prince Bay Landing, Sherwood Forest and North Point. All of them are clearly marked with nice signs. Each site has a certain feature of the lake associated with it. For Advanced Training Weekend, the Deep Dive is at Prince Bay Landing (all of the way around the lake); Night Dive at the Wall; Search and Recovery at Sherwood Forest; and Navigation at Sherwood Forest.
Within the lake there are several fish cribs, many submerged trees hence Sherwood Forest, quarry walls and roads hence The Wall, and even a sunken boat. All of these are in a very fragile environment. Caution should be used in order to not touch any of the trees (with an out of control fin) as they will not grow back. While this is a great place to train, a diver must have good buoyancy control in order to not crash into the bottom, walls, platforms and trees.
There is usually 40′-100′ of viz with three thermoclines. The surface to 30′ is 55F in the early spring and near 75F in summer. The first thermocline is at 30′-40′ until 70′ or so with a water temp of 50F. At 70′ the final thermocline takes you to a balmy 39-41F.
Depths of your dives can be max 35′ at the bay at Sherwood Forest or Bluegill Alley with fish cribs in both locations. Prince Bay Landing has at 70′ platform and roadbed but also a 110′ roadbed below. The Wall has a 40′ vertical wall starting at 10′ going to 50′ with a slope to 65′. Trees start at 65′. Sherwood Forest over the bank starts at 8′ and descends to over 200′.
Wetsuit – 7mm all of the time, 5mm in late July and August above the thermocline. Dry suits are worn extensively.
Hood, gloves, boots – Boots, hood, gloves all of the time, unless you stay above the first thermocline.
Light – Yes, for seeing things in crevices of the walls.
Fish – In the bays, crappie, perch, small mouth bass, rainbow and brown trout. At the edge of the fist thermocline you can find walleye. Check out the bottom of the bays for several species of crayfish including blue crayfish.
The Wall dive site entry coordinates for your GPS are:
+44° 17′ 33.14″, -90° 43′ 44.33″