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World | USA / Canada | Great Lakes | Diving St Clair River:

St Clair River overview


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St Clair River, Great Lakes, USA / Canada dive site map

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Scuba Diving Great Lakes, USA / Canada

Water temperature:

10C (50F) to 24C (75F) depending on depth and month of the year


Dry or semi-dry suit recommended although many people dive in two-piece farmer john 5-7mm suits


5 - 20 metres (15 - 65 feet). Weather (particularly wind) and site dependent

Type of diving:


Marine life:

Large and small mouth bass, sunfish and invasive gobies and zebra mussels abound

When to go:

The season runs from late April to October with the best diving in July and August when the wind is more predictable and the water temps are warmest.

How to get there:

Fly to Detroit (DTW) and then hire a car - around a two-hour drive.

St Clair River, Great Lakes - courtesy Rick Davies
Boats on the St Clair River, Great Lakes - courtesy Rick Davies

Saint Clair River

The St. Clair River drains Lake Huron into Lake St Clair and separates the US state of Michigan from the Canadian province of Ontario on the opposite bank. The river is a significant component in the Great Lakes Waterway with shipping channels permitting cargo vessels to travel between the upper and lower Great Lakes. That said many ships have foundered over the years with numerous lives lost and it remains a challenging area for ships to navigate.

The river is 39 miles (64 km) long and drops 5 feet (1.5 m) in elevation from Lake Huron to Lake St. Clair. Divers search for old artifacts along the entire length of the river but focal points are around the Blue Water Bridge at the head of the river and downstream at Algonac and Marine City. Through June and July huge sturgeon pass through and walleye can be seen in schools throughout the year.

Currents along the length of the river range from average to severe with the shallower, fast flowing section immediately downstream of the Blue Water Bridge (which can reach 6-8 knots) providing some truly exhilarating opportunities that are locally renowned for separating the men from the boys.

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