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Tilcon Lake (Lake Tilcon/Hidden Lake) - Allamuchy Township NJ

Tilcon Lake (Lake Tilcon/Hidden Lake) is a shore accessible fresh water dive site, located at Kinney Road (off Waterloo Road), Allamuchy Township, NJ 07820. The maximum depth is 41-50ft/12-15m. The average visibility is 16-20ft/5-6m.

Site is an old flooded sand and gravel quarry as several storms dumped large amounts of rain in northern NJ (Floyd, Irene, Sandy just to name a few) causing the Musconetcong River to spilll it’s banks, forming what is today Lake Tilcon. Water has nice visibility, it is one of three lakes that the state stocks with landlocked salmon (Aeroflex and Waywayanda being the other two). There are some structures underwater, large boulders, piping from the old quarry, and we did find an old wooden cart as well. To access the lake, park at the gate on Kinney Road (just past the bridge) and follow the paved road to the lake. When you initially see the lake, it is the spot where paddlers launch their watercraft. Hang a left and on the path about 300 feet or so there will be another access point through the bushes for a nice sandy entry.

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m_grieco - 9/27/2015 7:38 PM
Lake is NO LONGER DIVE-ABLE. I tried diving there today with a few DB members, and after hauling all our gear to the water’s edge, we were kindly asked to leave by the Sergeant of the Park Rangers servicing Allamuchy State Park (which Tilcon Lake is under). He told us the only "approved" activities there are fishing and kayaking...looks like Carl, Kevin, and myself will be the only ones in the foreseeable future to dive this body of water. We could always apply for a permit by the state to dive there, not sure what that would entail, but I’m willing to give it a shot.
m_grieco - 9/20/2015 3:59 PM
Completed dive at this site with Carl (BaskingRidgeDiver) and Kevin (KDAD). Visibility was pretty decent, started out about 15 to 20 feet but upon getting below 30 feet visibility began to drop. At 40 feet (I maxed out at 45 feet). Water was cold down there, my computer is off with recording temperature so I honestly am not sure how cold it was...I was glad I was wearing my 7mm suit and new 6mm boots and 5mm gloves. We followed a piping structure (remnant of the old quarry) until we hit about 40 feet. There the water temperature dropped, visibility dropped, and our foursome separated. Kevin and myself continued to the right, came out of the deeper water and found the wooden cart as well as some rock structures. We swam back toward shore and hit another deep pocket (where I reached my max depth of 45 feet) and at that point, Kevin and myself got separated due to the poor visibility. I swam back in the direction I thought the piping structures where...except I overshot and swam all the way to one of the submerged islands. Long lake vegetation in this area, for me being a fish guy, I enjoyed this part the most. Saw schools of small panfish, a couple larger panfish lingered closer to the waters surface. I found a few channels that went into the lake plants and in those areas I saw a few huge bass, one reminded me of grouper I saw in the Cayman was a big boy. The small school of panfish and a lone juvenile largemouth bass actually followed me into the channel where the large predator resided (I felt like I was the whale shark with my "pose"...they were looking for safety from the big bad boy that probably ate more than one of their buddies). As far as I know, I believe this was the first time this lake was dove. I’ll go there again and get some wide angle shots of the underwater structures and the wall of vegetation...those spots were pretty neat.