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Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area - Palo IA


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Iowa is not too well known for great visibility diving destinations and Pleasant Creek State Recreation area is no exception. Although not incredible diving due to poor visibility many divers in area enjoy "getting wet" in this lake..which is one of the areas best kept secrets. However lacking in underwater visibility, the park and lake somewhat make up for it with above water beauty, reasonably ease of access and a very supportive and friendly park staff. Sometimes you just need to "get wet!" and PCSRA is the place! Vis is the best in spring prior to the algae bloom. The Diving The lake is a "no wake" lake and is popular among fisherman. This results in an abundance of "lake treasures" such as anchors, lures and other items. A perfect search & recovery diving area! Marine Life includes your typical Iowa lake fish that normally look a bit bored. The diving takes place off of the dam area due to that the rocks allow for better visibility. (The lake bottom is mostly mud & silt) Divers normally unload their gear at the spillway, then park in the parking lot on the north side of the dam...walk back...and enter by the spillway. (Big cement building in the middle of the dam!) Late Spring and early summer are the best times to dive. As summer progresses a layer of algae settles on the top and the best visibility is below it at about 15+ feet. The algae layer cuts off much of the light, so a bright, sunny day is best. In April 2002, Seatasea placed a platform at 21 feet just off of the spillway on the dam. If you dive to the bottom of the spillway, you may see two lines going out to the lake. The line going straight out goes to a drain at about 50’. (It is pretty dark...so bring a flashlight) The line angling to the right goes to the platform. Boat Access is available if you wish to use a boat. There is no charge for boat launching or parking. The Ranger staff is great and well used to divers in the area. The fisherman are cooperative...especially if you point out some "hot" spots for them. Access - To dive, you can drop your gear off at the spillway and park across the dam and walk back. (there is no parking on the dam) Simply gear up and climb down the rocks by the spillway into the water. Be carefull so you do not slip and fall on the rocks. Remember a dive flag is required! From I380 in Cedar Rapids take Blairs Ferry Road (Exit) West about 10 miles to Palo, Iowa. At four way stop in Palo you will take a right (Follow signs to park)

DiveTraining magazine story; dtmag.com/dive-usa/locations/PleasantCreekIowa.htm

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