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Review Date       AVG       ShoreDiving Site
08/29/2011        2.51      Mt. Storm and Vepco Lake West Virginia, USA East
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/


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