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Newbie questions.
03-23-2015, 11:25 AM, (This post was last modified: 03-23-2015, 06:41 PM by SoggyBottomBoy.)
Newbie questions.
Hi, everyone.

After experiencing the thrill of diving during a recent visit to the Caribbean, I decided to return back home and get my certification. The classroom and confined water portion of training has been completed, and I’m just waiting for the season to warm before I do my open water training at Square Lake.

My question is this – what next?

For location: I won’t be going to the Caribbean again until at least next year, but would like to keep practicing my skills. I see numerous lakes mentioned here in other posts (Wazee, Ore-B-Gone, Crosby Mines, etc.), but would those be too difficult for my skill level? I’m located in Minneapolis, so would a pass at the local lakes (Calhoun, Harriet) be more appropriate?

For education: Would taking the Advance Open Water be the next logical step in certification? Or would some other specialty make more sense?

For connecting with those who want to dive: I imagine hanging out at forums such as this one, and perhaps talking to my local dive shop, are the best bets for organizing a local or nearby dive. Any other suggestions for getting together with others?

Ultimately, I want to be using my new skills and keeping active in the diving community and am looking for tips on how to do this. I apologize if this a newbie duplicate post. Any help or information is greatly appreciated.

Thanks, divers!
03-23-2015, 02:38 PM, (This post was last modified: 03-23-2015, 02:39 PM by DetectorGuy.)
RE: Newbie questions.
Hi, and welcome to the dive community,
I think the Ore B Gon and Crosby/Ironton mine pits would be a great place to gain experience as the water is usually fairly clear, and Crosby and Ore B Gon offer multiple sites well above the recreational limits. The only sucky thing about diving there versus a closer lake is these two areas may spoil you and make you not want to dive closer to the cities. If you spend a year or two diving in the closer lakes with 10' visibility (or less), and then later dive in a lake (mine pit) that has 30' to 40', you will appreciate the things the smaller murkier lakes have to offer. If you start out at the pits for a few dives... you may not even want to dive in a lake with only 10' visibility. Its entirely up to you though.
If you don't mind the drive, the mine pits have a whole bunch to see above the 50' deep level (beaver lodges, helicopters, planes, jeeps, cars, boats, speeders, mining equipment, and most importantly fish). In the mine pits, I don't think I have seen any fish below 50'.
03-23-2015, 05:49 PM, (This post was last modified: 03-23-2015, 05:57 PM by Hydro.)
RE: Newbie questions.
calhoun is a great lake for new divers or any divers!, the north beach is sand and clay, and the south is more clay... the east and west sides arnt so nice as there is more weeds and muck, but its a close lake with decent vis and good access 15-20' possible .

harriet can have some fun spots along the north side, a little weedy on the south vis usually not as good as calhoun but sometimes pretty good in summer like 15-20' possible

lake elmo is another great lake to dive... harder to access without a boat, but its doable vis can be up to 25' sometimes depending on area and depth.

lake johanna is a fun lake to jump, hard clay bottom by beach and boatlaunch in the north... vis is lower like ~10'

little long lake (grumpy's favorite i think) is north east of mound, north of gale woods farms is a good small lake to dive in as well... some sandy areas south of the boatlaunch and weedy north vis about 15'

lake phalen is ok, but access from shore to good parts sucks vis is 10-15'

not so good:
nokomis i live near and i wish it was diveable but vis has been like 3 inches every time ive checked...
cedar lake by calhoun is all muck
lake of the isles is all muck
wirth pond, (never dove) but grumpy says its all muck
stay out of the mississippi river if you are a noob!!!!!
josephine is a toilet
"The lake is running low on leeches. Dump a few more barrels in."
-John Calhoun
03-23-2015, 08:26 PM,
RE: Newbie questions.
Great summary of local dives Hydro. Finally was able to figure out where Little Long Lake is from your description, but I'm still a bit confused after looking at Google and Bing maps as they contradict each other. Google calls the upper bigger lake Long Lake and doesn't label the smaller one below it. Bing calls the upper bigger lake Little Long Lake and then calls the smaller one below it Long Lake. From the photo view of the maps, it appears to me that the smaller lake on the bottom would be the one with better vis, and I imagine that is the true Little Long Lake. It also appears there is some sort of public access there with canoe rentals, etc

Do you know if Lake Waconia ever has any potential in the summer? Just saw a pic of a monster carp a guy shot there while ice diving.

Also, where's the love for Minnetonka? Popo and I ran into lots of good vis in the shallows all last summer (at least good enough for carpin'). Of course with the boat speed limit on the lake most of the summer, that might have had something to do with it.

And I too would like to welcome SoggyBottom to the MNScuba crew- lots of good info on this forum. If you ever want to take up spearfishing, PopolarBear and I could help get you set up- we love it!
03-24-2015, 11:13 AM,
RE: Newbie questions.
For a newbie, tonka has good spots but youll need a boat (imo)... I have never shore dove tonka in the summer in any place id recommend to a beginning diver... someone else can recommend.
"The lake is running low on leeches. Dump a few more barrels in."
-John Calhoun
03-24-2015, 11:21 AM,
RE: Newbie questions.
so Hydro, can you verify which one of the two lakes (the bigger, upper one, or the smaller lower one) is Little Long Lake?

I really want to check that out this summer- no boats and no houses!
03-24-2015, 11:26 AM, (This post was last modified: 03-24-2015, 11:30 AM by Hydro.)
RE: Newbie questions.
The access to little long is off game farm road in the north east corner... I think a swamp seperates them but its considered the same lake. Ive only dove the north half.

Also perch lake north east of husdson wis is a good beginner lake vis was about 10-15' as I recall and decent access from the boat launch... I think there is a platform on the south end?
"The lake is running low on leeches. Dump a few more barrels in."
-John Calhoun
03-24-2015, 11:31 AM, (This post was last modified: 03-25-2015, 11:23 AM by stick500.)
RE: Newbie questions.
Great! That makes sense now that both lakes are called Little Long. Can't wait to check them out.

I was at Perch last summer and it was oddly devoid of fish life- I found out later that they put they put rotenone in a few years ago and killed everything to get rid of the carp and it's taking awhile to get any big ones back. Funny part is, probably at least a male and female carp survived! Smile

[Image: RT56QAS.jpg]
03-25-2015, 01:16 PM,
RE: Newbie questions.
Thank you for the warm welcomes and suggestions, everyone!
06-27-2015, 06:43 AM,
RE: Newbie questions.
so Soggy, have you checked anything out this year?

I'm heading to Little Long for the first time today after all of our March discussions

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