DIVING MORAINE PONDS Expedition #1 Moraine, Ohio

Dive Team:  Matt Miller, Austin Whitt, Holly Miller, Dave Miller

Dive Date: August 15, 2016

This was an environmental cleanup dive to promote safe fish habitat and remove harmful plastic from Deer Meadow Park’s nine acre pond. We concentrated our cleanup around disc golf course water holes #2 & #3. We removed six plastic bottles, 31 discs and one golf ball. We also saved the life of a turtle who had swallowed bait and a hook. After the dive we took the turtle home and Dr. Matt & Dr. Austin surgically removed the hook and fishing line and Nurse Dave drove the turtle back and released him in the pond.

Visibility was only 1 to 4 feet. Dive lights had no effect. We did see some bass, crappie and bluegill. We wore swimming trunks & dive gear but no wetsuits. The water was warm but in deeper water we hit many thermoclines (a layer of colder water between the warmer surface zone and the colder deep water zone). My max depth was around 12 feet but brave scuba divers Matt & Austin went deeper. They finally abandoned their descent at 18 feet due to a freezing thermocline and zero visibility. A thunderstorm ended our 70 minutes of diving.

The next afternoon Holly and Dave used the final two tanks of air diving a large pond beside the Moraine Miami River Boat Dock off of East River Road. Once again dodging rain showers we dove 50 minutes with 10 foot visibility. Aquatic plants near shore gave way to grass slopes and dirt bottom with many shells. Barren pockets in the grass held bluegill and small fish. Saw a few large catfish. Hit very cold thermo clines at 20 feet. Did not go beyond 24 feet in the dark depths. This was a surprisingly clear, safe and warm water dive for the first 10 feet. Can’t wait to go back.

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