Minnesota School of Diving Inc.

Since 1959







Current Local Dive Conditions for the Cuyuna Mines

Temperature at thermoclines

  • Surface to 23 ft - 73°
  • 23 ft. to 60 ft. - 48°
  • 60 ft. to bottom - 38°


  • Surface to 1st thermocline - 30 ft. 

  • 1st thermocline to 50 ft. - 10 ft. 

  • 50 ft. to bottom or potential black layer - 30ft.

  • Some sites have a black layer of zero visibility around 80 ft. (recent mines were this has been noted: Hopkins; Alstead).

06/27/15 Fun Dive at Wombad Point

Seven divers enjoyed a beautiful day at Wombad Point located between Mahnomen 1 and 2 mines. Six of those enjoyed a nice dive (one, who wont be mentioned, forgot his dry suit underwear and accompanied Jeff topside). Dive conditions remained the same as earlier in the week with the first thermocline dropping a little bit, to around 25 feet. Some kayakers happened upon the divers bubbles, and were a little perplexed as to their origin. One of them suspected they were from carp. Another did his best to poke the "carp" with his paddle - but to no avail as the carp (divers) were below 20 feet.

Dive Master: Jeff Adams

Photo Credit: Todd Matthies

06/26/15 Fun Dive at Sleepy Hollow

Eighteen divers enjoyed the beautiful evening with an MSD fun dive. Many either did a surface swim or swam a few feet under the surface to get across the narrrows of the mine pit separating the two bays and started their dive off to the right on the south side. The visibility above the thermocline at 23ft was phenomenal - we are talking 30-40 ft! The visibility dropped quit a bit below the thermocline so a lot of divers stayed shallow with the great visibility! Some went and saw the beaver cuttings where a bunch of fish were hanging out. Their was also a golfball that kept moving around; some saw it in the silt, others saw it up on a rock and others saw it in a tree! Carl and Vicki Unger also completed their 100th dive - and no, we couldn't convince them to go down to 100 ft.

Dive Master: Tim Gack
Photo Credit: Kersten Rieland 

06/20/15 Fun Dive at Diamond Cove

Seven divers were excited to see the rain quit and sun come out for their dive at Diamond Cove in Hopkins Mine. The surface temp down to the depth of 15' was 70°. The visibility dropped from 30ft at 15 ft down to 15ft to the depth of 40 ft. from 40 ft to the depth of 80 ft the visibility jumped right back up to 40 ft! 

Dive Master: Josh Duda
Photo Credit: Todd Matthies 

06/16/15 Fun Dive at Sleepy Hollow

6 divers made the best of their rainy Tuesday night by enjoying good company with their MSD dive buddies. The visibility was great down to the depth of 15 ft. it was 30-40 ft! From 15 ft to the depth of 40ft it was kinda murky and cleared up again below 40 ft. On Tuesday there was a Hondurain native that was smiling ear to ear through out his fun dive experience. 

Dive Master: Bill Lacroix

06/13/15 Fun Dive at Eternal Bliss

On Saturday the fun dive was at Eternal Bliss along with the MSD PADI Rescue course. The visibility was about 15 ft. The thermocline was about 20 ft. A few of the fun divers had fun watching some of the rescue dive scenarios as they were practicing how to approach a panicked diver at the surface. The road has been repaired as far as not having to drive through the huge water puddle right before you get to Eternal Bliss. A colvert was put in and fill was brought in!
Dive Master: Tim Gack 

06/13/15 Dive at Huntington Public Access

Doug Klein completed a dive at the Huntington Public Access on Saturday morning. Surface temp was 62° down to the depths of 20 ft. Visibility was 20ft. He also mentioned that he saw a nice size northern and a 24" rainbow trout.

06/11/15 Fun Dive at Conneticut Two Bit

Eleven divers enjoyed a Thursday night fun dive at Connecticut Two Bit on Huntington Mine Pit. Some divers went to the left of the entry point and found a gigantic northern in the shallows and continued down the roadway to 20 ft and looked at the foosball table. Others went to the right of the entry point looking at some trees until reaching the depth of 40 ft. where the vertical wall starts. Surface temp was 55° at the depth of 46 ft the temp was 46°. Visibility was pretty consistent  at 20 - 30 ft. 
Dive Master: Jill Herberg
Photo Credit: Kersten Rieland 

06/10/15 Diving at Feigh

Curtis Lahr completed a few dives Wednesday evening. While diving Feigh he found out that the visibility has gotten worse since the last time he was there. The visibility was okay above 10' but cloudy down to the depth of 40'. From 40' down to the depth of 100' the visibility was fantastic! There were still lots of fish by the beaver house but not as many fish as when he was there last time. 

06/10/15 Diving at Conneticut Two Bit

Curtis Lahr went for a dive at Conneticut Two Bit on Wednesday evening. He stayed above the thermocline to catch some fish on film. The visibility above the thermocline was great and he was successful with finding fish!

06/07/15 Diving at Stairway to Hell

Doug Klein and Josh Marcum were on a mission on Sunday, a mission to find the Stairway to Hell in Alstead Mine. On their way they saw a few northerns and bass swim by, the surface temp was in the 50's. Visibility was spotty ranging from 10-30ft. The best visibility was below 60 ft. Reaching the depth of 85 ft the temp was 42°. 
Photo Credit: Doug Klein 

06/06/15 Fun Dive at Tree Hugger

Twelve divers enjoyed a fun dive on Saturday at Tree Hugger in the Hopkins Mine. Some divers went for a swim through the trees to the left of the entry, others checked out the collapsed building and swung to the right over the submerged road, and then followed the slope to the beaver cuttings half way to Diamond Cove. Surface temp was 60° Visibility 20 ft Thermocline 25ft.  Below thermocline the water temp was 42°
Photo Credit: Jeff Adams
Dive Master: Jeff Adams 

6/3/15 Fun Dive at Feigh

The rain and thunder that rolled through central MN on Wednesday didn't put a stop to the MSD Fun Dive. Surface temp. to the depth of 20 ft was 54°. Visibility was 25 ft down to the thermocline. Between 20-40 ft the visibility was a little less. Down at the depth of 80 ft the visibility was 40+ feet with a water temp of 41°. "It was the best visibility I have seen this year. Tons of fish on the beaver cut to the right of the entry." said Cory Hines. 

Dive Master: Tim Gack
Photo Credit: Tim Gack 

5/30/15 - Diving at Portsmouth

A lot of people find that their summer days go by to fast and for some diving gets put on the back burner. For some others, they dive all time and it doesn't matter if it is night or day.  Cory, Doug and Nick did a night dive at Portsmouth and had great visibility! They could see as far as the flash light would illuminate. They found the thermocline at 23 ft and above the thermocline the water temp. was 55°

5/30/15 - Diving at Feigh

Curtis and Paul had a great dive at Feigh on Saturday. If you are looking to see a lot of fish life, they found it. Take a two minute swim to the right upon entering the water and you will not be disappointed. Not only were the fish abundant but the visibility was pretty decent, it varied from 15-30 ft. Is that still not good enough? The visibility was even better down at the depths of 70 ft. They also had a very comfortable dive with the water temp. being in the low 50°s above the thermocline. Click HERE to watch Curtis Lahr's video.

5/30/15 Fun Dive at Eternal Bliss

Many people were fond the that radiant sunshine that fell over the Cuyuna Mines on Saturday. There is no better way of enjoying the sun like a good ol' MSD fun dive was the thought of ten divers. The visibility was only 10-15ft to the depth of 40ft below 40ft the visibility was about 25ft, they made the best of what they had. Once at 60 ft. you had good visibility down to the depths of 90 ft. What makes up for the lousy visibility? The water temp.! The water is warming up and it's in the low 50°s above the thermocline.
Dive Master: Tim Gack
Photo Credit: Tim Gack 

5/26/15 Fun Dive at Sand Chute

The rain held off for the eleven divers that came together for an always entertaining MSD Fun Dive. The multiple dive groups chose to seek out different attractions, a few went to the depth of 80-85 ft to look at a shaft (visibilty was NOTHING to talk about) a few went on a continuing quest for a missing item, and a few went to 65 ft and paid Gorls a visit in his coffin. After the dive, everyone enjoyed Josh's world famous "Duda Burgers." The thermocline is sitting at 27 or 28 ft. The surface temp to the thermocline was 55°. At the depth of 65ft the water temp was 46°. Visibility from the surface to the thermocline was 30 ft. Visibility at 65ft was 10ft and only continued to get worse as you got deeper. 

Dive Master: Josh Duda
Photo Credit: Todd Matthies 

5/23/15 Fun Dive at Conneticut Two Bit

Fourteen divers went on a journey from the Brainerd MSD location to the Huntington Mine, only to be blown away by the visibility! The visibility that this group came upon was 40ft., which just happens to be some of the best vis. so far this fun dive season. Surface temp. to the depth of 27ft was 55° below that it dropped to 45°. What a great Memorial weekend dive! Thanks to all of those who are serving or who have served our country!

Dive Master: Josh Duda
Photo Credit: Todd Matthies 

5/21/15 Fun Dive at Arco Point

Six MSD divers took full advantage of the great evening that mother nature finally gave us. Topside was a wonderful 68° and sunny. The best part that almost everyone agreed on was that there were no mosquitoes! Some would have prefered that the weather was even warmer, we try to please everyone but that doesn't always happen unfortunately (mosquitoes and temperature is out of our control) The surface temp down to the depth of 30 ft was 52° the visibility was about 15ft. At 30ft is where the thermocline was sitting and the visibility got a little worse. Diving off to the right of the entry point there are some neat trees you can swim through.

Dive Master: Adam Johnson
Photo Credit: Kersten Rieland 

5/16/15 Fun Dive at Gilligan's Plunge

Here at MSD we do what we can for our divers, we went back to Gilligan's Plunge just because the visibility was favorable on Wednesday. The temperature from the surface to a depth of 20 ft was 50°. Down at 115 ft., the water temp was 40°. They had great visibility (40 ft) from the surface to 60 ft, below that, the visibility has gained about 10 ft since Wednesday. Below 60 ft the visibility is now 20 - 25 ft. 

Dive Master: Jeff Adams

Photo Credit: Jeff Adams

5/13/15 Fun Dive at Gilligan's Plunge

Cold and rainy weather doesn't stop MSD! The beauty of diving is that it's never rained out - divers get wet regardless. That is exactly what five fun divers did last night while Bill manned the grill topside. The divers split into two groups, and both eventually worked their way down to look at the Ford Ranger pick-up at 115 ft. The temperature from the surface to a depth of 20 ft was 50°. Down at 115 ft., the water temp was 39°.  They had great visibility (35 - 40 ft) from the surface to 60 ft, below that, the visibility dropped to 10 - 15 ft. 

Dive Master: Bill Lacroix
Photo Credit: Todd Matthies 

5/09/15 Fun Dive at Eagle Beach

Six divers enjoyed their sunny Saturday with an MSD Fun Dive. The surface temp was again in the low 50's. Some news that you would be glad to hear is that the thermocline is dropping! The thermocline is sitting at 15 - 20 feet. On another positive note, we had a visibility range of 25 ft. The Minnesota state bird made some appearances also today, they found us very interesting and kept coming back. 

Dive Master:Jill Herberg
Photo Credit: Todd Matthies 

5/5/15 Fun Dive at Seaward

Six people joined us for a great Tuesday fun dive. The temp at the surface was in the low 50's with the thermocline sitting at 10 feet. Below the thermocline the temp is in the low 40's. Let's talk visibility: From the surface to 40 ft you are looking at roughly 15 ft of visibility, below 40 ft down to 60 ft the visibility dropped to 5-10 ft, 60 ft and below we gained our 20 ft range of visibility. A few of the divers went and looked at the railroad tracks at a depth of 100 ft. Pictured is Tim Gack and Paula Persons getting ready for what they expect to be another tremendous dive in the Cuyuna Mine Pits.
Dive Master: Bill Lacroix
Photo Credit: Todd Matthies 

5/3/15 - Diving at Feigh

For many of our very active divers the Fun Dive wasn't enough, so they went diving on Sunday! Choosing a different location they were able to find a few more feet of visibility.  Surface temp. 53° Above 40' the visibility was 20' Diving into depth...down at 98' the water temp. was 36° The photo shown to the left was taken around the beaver dam on the north east corner, just a short swim from the new public access. 

Photo Credit: Tom Allinder

5/02/15 Fun Dive at Shangri-la

What magnificent weather we had to kick off the 2015 Fun Dive season! 15 divers took advantage of the weather and buddied up to go diving and savored the unforgettable fun dive food. Surface temp. 52° Visibility was right around the 10' mark. Down at 20' the water temp. was 45° 

"Brats were great" - Tom Allinder
Vickie Unger got to try out her new orange X-Shot fins (Pictured) - She was beyond pleased to say the least...don't believe me, ask her yourself!

A few people couldn't wait to get back in the water and completed a second dive.
Photo Credit: Todd Matthies

8/20/14 Fun Dive at Shangri-La - Alstead Mine

With the rain we got up at the Cuyuna Mine pits, it did knock down our visibility to 15 - 20 ft. None the less, that did not lessen the enjoyment of the 24 divers we had participating in. Vis should be back to normal with a couple days of dry weather. Only 16 Fun dives left for this season and that is including our underwater pumpkin carving contest!

8/06/14 Fun Dive at South Alstead

We've been having some great attendance on our recent Fun Dives, and rightly so - as the visibility has really improved. Visibility has been between 30 and 50 ft. from the surface down to the thermocline at 20 ft. From 20 to 60 feet of depth it has been 15 to 20 ft. Below 60 the vis has been as good as 50 feet. 

7/17/2014 Fun Dive at Eternal Bliss - Louise Mine

The weather couldn't get much better for the 14 divers who enjoyed a wonderful evening of diving. The thermocline was at 21ft with 20 - 40 ft of visibility. The visibility was absolutely incredible, especially at depth. Jill Herberg was the dive master in the water as Tim Gack tended the grill top-side! 

6/25/14 Fun Dive at Gilligan's Plunge - Huntington Mine

12 divers joined us for a fantastic dive at Gilligan's Plunge. The visibilty was at least 40 feet in the shallower water. The temps are in the 70's above the thermocline, which is still sitting at a relatively shallow 20 feet. A couple divers went to the Ford Ranger at 120 ft. and reported that the vis was good all the way down, except for a murkier band in the 30 to 40 ft. range.
5/10/14 Fun Dive at Seaward - Mahnomen II Mine
Jill Herberg, Paul Hatton, Doug Klein, Curtis Lahr and Todd Matthies
 enjoy some sunshine after a cold 100 ft deep dive on the tracks at Seaward
We have now had four fun dives and the conditions are starting to see improvement. May 1st and 3rd with dives at Seaward and Atlantis visibility was struggling to reach 10 feet and water at the surface was under 40. On our dive on the railroad tracks 100 feet down at Seaward on May 10th, surface water temps were up to 44 degrees and visibility (deeper than 30 feet anyways) is as much as 20 to 30 feet.
4/24/14 Cuyuna Mine Pits are opening up!
As of the morning of April 24 all of the pits have seen a dramatic loss of ice. What is left is very black and has for the most part moved away from the edges. I would have to assume by Sat. April 26th most pits will be ice free. It looks as though the never-ending winter may have ended and believe it or not, the ice is out two weeks earlier than last year. We will be having our first Fun Dive of the year on Thursday May 1st, which will be followed up by the second one on Saturday May 3rd. We are all very excited for the new dive season to begin!

5/22/13 Fun Dive at Gilligan's Plunge - Huntington Mine

Jeff Adams, Tim Gack, Josh Marcum and Todd Matthies were treated to "Duda Burgers" as MSD Dive Master Extraordinare Josh Duda hosted a Fun Dive to Gilligan's Plunge on May 22. Visibility and water temps are improving greatly. Vis was in the 20 to 30 foot range above 20 feet and below 40 feet. Water temps above the 10 foot deep thermocline are in the high 40's. At depth it's still a little nippy at 39 degrees. 

5/9/13 Fun Dive at Tree Hugger - Hopkins Mine

Bill Lacroix and Todd Matthies enjoyed an "invigorating" season opening fun dive on May 9th as the ice was still tinkling in the distance. The ice had just partially broken up and moved over. Visibility was poor as it takes a while for the particulate matter that was on the ice to settle out. 

Water Conditions as of April 5th 2013... cold and hard

A year ago we had to cancel the Ice Dive Class because there wasn't any ice left. This year we started the Ice Class but had to postpone it 4 weeks because of the heavy snow cover. Whether spring likes it or not we have our first Fun Dive scheduled for Wednesday May 1st and we will be diving - even if we have to do it in a puddle.




Visibility is back to where it should be!

We haven't updated the conditions lately, but I am happy to report that good visibility has returned. Over the last few weeks worth of Fun Dives visibility in Hopkins, Mangan and Huntington has greatly improved. In the shallow depths (surface to 25 ft) the vis has been ranging between 30 to 50 feet. Between 25 and 40 ft.  vis drops to 10 to 15 ft., below 40ft it improves back into the 30 to 40 foot range.


Water temps:    Surface to 25 ft. - Mid 70's

                           25 to 60 - Low 50"

                           60 + Upper 30's


Take advantage of the improved vis and come along on one of our fun dives. Remember that in September the week night fun dives leave MSD - Brainerd at 5:00 PM sharp because of the shortened day-light hours. Saturday fun dives leave at 11:30 AM as always, and will run through October finishing up with our U/W Pumpkin Carving Fun Dive on Oct. 27th. September and October diving is a great time to dive the Cuyuna Mine Pits. The visibility is at it's annual best and the water temps remain quite comfortable well into October.

07/03/12 Fun Dive at WOMBAD Point - Alstead 2 Mine

The heavy rains are still making vis a bit less than desired. But with a relatively rain-free forcast for 7/7-14/12 we are hopeful that conditions will improve. Visibility over the Forth of July week was 15-20 from the surface down to the thermocline at 20 ft., then the vis dropped to 10-15 feet from 20 to 40 feet of depth. Visibility below 40 feet is good at 40 to 50 feet but it is obviously quite cold (Todd had a reading of 42 degrees at 65 ft on 7/5/12's dive at Huntington Access).

06/20/12 Fun Dive at Diamond Cove - Hopkins Mine

The recent rain has caused some issues with visibility in the shallow waters. At depths below the thermocline (20 ft.) the visibility improves somewhat. Water temps down to 20 feet are in the upper 60's to low 70's. Diamond cove had only about 5-10 feet of vis shallow but improved to 20-30 feet below 40 feet of depth.

05/17/12 Fun Dive at Arco

Divers reported 5 to 10 feet of visibility below 25 feet, while above that depth it was 25 to 30. They said that the water was warming up but didn't say what temp.

05/09/12 Fun Dive at South Alstead

We had a good group out for a beautiful evening dive on S. Alstead. Todd and Darlene followed the submerged roadway to the east and were rewarded with 30+ feet of visibility and good fish life (big bass and a couple northerns). Mark Cross and Jeff Adams checked out the bay to the west, and said it was pretty much void of fish life and vis was 10 - 15 feet. Water temp at surface was 56 and at 50 ft. it was 42.

05/05/12 Fun Dive at Shangri-La on Alstead MIne

Visibility was 15 feet. Water temp 50 at the surface and 46 at 30 feet. 8 fish were seen, or one was seen 8 times.

5/01/12 Fun Dive at Gilligan's Plunge on Huntington Mine 

Visibilty ranged from 20 to 30 feet. Water temps were 47 at the surface and 41 at 75 feet. Road conditions are excellent with the recent improvements. The last 50 yards into the site has been improved also, but there still are some bumps and a pretty steep incline.