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Shark River Inlet - Avon/Belmar NJ

Shark River Inlet is a shore accessible salt water dive site, located at Ocean Ave. and Bridge, Avon/Belmar, NJ. This dive site has an average rating of 3.07 out of 5 from 14 scuba divers. The maximum depth is 21-25ft/6-8m. The average visibility is 11-15ft/3-5m.

This is an active boat channel and all dives from Memorial Day to Labor Day must be night dives! A diver down flag is a must!

Three choices on entry;

Avon side, free parking, beach showers in season, follow walk between boardwalk and Ocean Ave. down under bridge, there is actually a wall to sit on while you put on fins, step off wall into water when you can handle the incoming tide. This side tends to have a lot of fishermen so beware of mono. After slack high tide current starts to go out you need to make a choice, get back to entry and climb out over rocks, there is a piece of rebar that makes a nice handle, just don’t get impaled on it!

Or continue out to the Atlantic, not recomended in bad viz and surf, turn left around the rocks, walk back up the beach to the showers.

Forget something, need air? DiversTwo is the LDS

Belmar Beach entry, pay for parking, down stairs to rocks and climb in. I did this when I was younger, no more!

Belmar A street entry, probably the most popular site in the state. Free but limited parking. Don’t block the driveway to the apartments or the house to the west of A street. Whomever built the jetty was a diver, they built steps down to the water :) (This has been undated with a rough concrete ramp and two entry points) Watch the rocks underwater, they are slippery. Again enter when you can handle the incoming tide, swim toward the bridge, your compass will lie under the bridge. Warning needed here, near the bridge in a line with the wood pilings is an 8’ x 2-3" I-beam sticking out from the rocks horizontally just under high water, it can be seen at low tide. Don’t run into it! Don’t end up in the boat channel either! Here if you don’t make it back to the entry point when the tide changes you can climb back out over the rocks but it won’t be as easy as on the steps.

SwellInfo for Belmar;

§ 13:82-3.17 Diving and swimming

(a) General provisions with respect to diving and swimming are as follows:

1. Underwater diving with or without an underwater apparatus is permitted in all navigable waters in New Jersey unless otherwise prohibited in this section.

2. Any person while diving shall mark his or her position with a buoyed flag:

i. Such flag shall be displayed so that it is visible all around the horizon from a buoy, float, boat or other floating object;

ii. Such flag shall be a minimum of 14 inches by 16 inches, shall be rigid to enhance visibility and shall be a red background with a white diagonal stripe running from one corner to the other.

3. No person shall operate a vessel within 50 feet of the buoyed flag.

4. No person shall display a flag at times other than when diving is in progress.

5. No person shall swim or dive in a narrow, confined or improved channel or in a marked fairway, under a bridge, or impede, obstruct or interfere with passage of watercraft therein.

6. No diver shall surface more than 25 feet from the buoyed flag except in an emergency

Dive Site Map

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Jonahmklein - 2/18/2016 7:19 AM
Rating Added: 4
Shark river is probably the most interesting and well rounded dive. It has under water structure, currents, sponges, a wall with 25’ drop, good vis, and plenty of marine life.
m_grieco - 10/26/2015 8:16 AM
Dove here with Ray and Joe 10/25/2015. Entered water at twilight, water was thick with small bait fish (that actually went nuts as we were exiting the water, I could feel them crashing all over me through my 7mm wetsuit. Visibility was 5-10ft. Bottom was loaded with flounder, saw a nice sized (probably 3-4 ft American eel) as well as a winter skate. I’d love to say I got a good photo of it but only one with half it’s eye in the photo (I had my 60mm macro lens on my camera). Other than that, just the usual NJ residents, lots of spider crabs and red rock crabs.
LatitudeAdjustment - 9/09/2014 5:42 PM
I went scuba diving here on 9/7/2014. Average viz: Under 5ft/2m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
3mil, DSS BP&W A Street entry into incoming tide. The usual Jersey suspects, tautog, flounder, assorted crabs and a lot of juvi spotfin butterflys.
Scout - 9/15/2008 8:29 AM
Expedition Sept. 14, 2008: See Blog
Snappahead - 6/26/2008 8:18 AM
Additional stuff on Shark River Inlet:

1. Underwater diving is permitted in the Shark River Inlet in that area which lies east of a line extending from the northwest end of A Street in Belmar to the southeast end of First Avenue in Avon.
2. Divers shall stay within 25 feet of the jetties and bulkheads in the area described.
3. A diver shall mark his or her position with a float and skin diver’s flag.
4. No diver shall surface more than 15 feet from the buoyed flag except in an emergency.
5. No underwater diving shall be permitted in Shark River Inlet between the hours of 8:00 AM and 5:30 PM during the period each year commencing May 1 terminating October 1
Snappahead - 6/26/2008 8:05 AM
Best time to dive this site is mid to late summer AFTER the Gulf Stream has moved in close to the NJ shoreline. The Gulf Stream brings up some nice tropical fish that many aquarium enthusiasts dive for.

Another thing to remember is to dive the inlet at HIGH slack. Dive it at low slack and you’re likely to get very low viz from the crap that flows into the ocean from this estuary.

Make sure you have a dive flag and that you tow it with you. People have been ticketed for not having one. As well, DO NOT venture out into the channel as there is active boat traffic and if caught out there you will be ticketed and fined. Do a google search on "Shark River Inlet" for any other regulations on diving the inlet.

Parking around the area is decent, but make sure you’re in an area where you can park, the Belmar Police don’t mess around especially with the summer crowds.