Mt. Storm and Vepco Lake
This lake is the cooling "pond" (1,200 acres) for a coal fired electric generating plant. The water temps range from the upper 80s in the summer to the 50s in the winter - provided the generators are pumping. The max depth is around 130 feet if you follow the stream bed, There are several platforms for training and had lines connecting them. Not much for amenities, just a couple of port-a-johns. No local dive shop, so bring everything you need. The parking lot is huge and the entry isn't too bad, down a short path. I've been there several times and the vis wasn't all that great - 10 to 20 feet, but water temps in the winter make up for it! This is an altitude dive for most of us at around 3,200 feet so plan accordingly.
US Rt 50 to Mt. Storm, WV WV Rt 42 South to WV Rt 93 about 4 miles WV Rt 93 West to Mt. Storm Lake about 1.5 miles before power plant on left side
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01/24/2013 Anonymous (Avg: 3.00 Review) - At this time, the site is closed to divers unless they dive from a boat.
08/29/2011 BCS (Avg: 2.51 Review) - As mentioned above, Mount Storm is a cooling pond for a coal-fired power plant - and the coal dust is dumped in the lake. No one's quite sure how deep the coal silt is now (at least 3 ft), but there's more than enough to reduce visibility to zero. Watch your buoyancy - it's very easy to stir up a massive silt cloud by accident. There are currently four training platforms in the lake - 2 at 25', one at 50', and a fourth at 90'. Lines connect all four, and a barrel (which marks the altitude corrected safety stop). Lines also mark a number of interesting objects that have been put in the lake, including a motorcycle (and a school bus is pending). As for plant/animal life, there's not much to see. There are carp (who like to stir up the silt themselves), and lots of catfish. Some divers do feed the catfish, so expect to be swarmed when you get in (particularly at the 25' platforms). However, the big attraction for Mt. Storm is the warm water. Thanks to the power plant, its warm all year round - I saw low 90s this August, but other divers have seen 100+ degrees Fahrenheit on occasion. Thus a wetsuit isn't necessary during the summer, and its open for diving year round. Facilities are a little meager - it's basically a gravel lot with trash cans. There are docks for boats (off limits to divers), and a couple of crude cement stairs down to the water for divers. There's also a gas station about five miles up the road, but that's about it. One (hopefully) temporary concern - WV's Division of Natural Resources is under contract to care for the lake. And - thanks to recent friction between swimmers and boaters - they've been cracking down on any misbehavior (hard). So, for the near future, be on your best behavior. Further details (and a crude map of the diving area) are available at http://www.mtstorm.com/
03/11/2008 Debra Everhart (Avg: 3.04 Review) - For those of us who are land locked…this is a great place. The warm water is the big draw. The lake water cools the power plant across the way and that's what keeps it so warm. The air temp and wind can be troublesome, though, being that we are in the mountains. Also remember that technically this is an altitude dive. There are two 25 foot platforms, a 50 foot, and a 100 foot. Tons of catfish and some big carp.
01/13/2007 S McRoberts (Avg: 4.00 Review) - I did my open water, advanced open water, and rescue dive at MT Storm. I feel there is no better place to train or just go diving!
12/03/2006 Colin (Avg: 2.21 Review) - I just completed my OW dives here. The water is warm for a northern lake (68 degrees in November). Visibility was poor (3-8 ft). Lots of curious catfish. A couple of training platforms are located at 25 feet, one marked by a buoy. Deeper ones exist but I don't know where they are. Site gets to around 130 feet. Didn't venture nearly that far down. Ominous power plant across the lake. Not your Florida Keys diving, but a good place to do some training dives, refresh your skills, or try out equipment in the winter without venturing to the tropics!
10/29/2006 Bob Sanders (Avg: 3.10 Review) - Warm Water!!!!
07/11/2006 Eric from Winchester (Avg: 2.21 Review) - I did my open water dives here, and have done some refresher work here as well. There is not much in the way of aquatic life: a few catfish, and sporadic vegetation. However, the visibility has always been 20-30 feet when I have been there in the winter. I have heard that the spring and summer are worse due to boat activity. It is an altitude dive for those working on an Advanced Open Water or Altitude specialty course. All in all, it isn't a bad place to dive if you are looking to get wet and you would like to go without a wetsuit in the winter! One note of caution, I, along with a couple buddies, did get hit with hypoxia there. As with any altitude dive, take your time and rest often!
Dive Site Links: (If you have a
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* Deep Water -- Mt. Storm information and dive map
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Mt Storm plant.
Submitted by Debra Everhart
Averages for Mt. Storm and Vepco Lake (1=worst,
Number of reviews for this site: 7