Scuba diving at White Star Quarry requires that each diver obtain a permit for diving each day. The permits are available at two self-serve Kiosks at the main water entrances of the quarry. At these Kiosks divers can find Blue envelopes that have a place for their personal infomation as well as a liability release to sign on the back. A payment of $20 USD per diver per day is put in the envelope and dropped into the receptacle near the Kiosk. . Each diver is required to fill out a separate envelope. The top part of the envelope is a tear off permit tp put in the dashboard of your car. Clearly visibile so that quarry staff can match your permit to the payment and liability release. Failure for a diver to properly complete the permit process prior to entering the water can result in a fine.
WHEN YOU MAY DIVE
NIGHT DIVING AND ICE DIVING
Night Diving is allowed at the quarry on Saturday Evenings only from Memorial Day Weekend until the last weekend in September. Divers must register to night dive and must check out with the scuba concession once they are done with their dives for the evening.
Ice Diving is only allowed for certified ice divers or divers under the supervision of an instructor during specific weekends scheduled each year. These weekends require divers to check in at the scuba concession (no self serve) and show their credentials to the quarry staff. Specific equipment and considerations are required for ice dives and the quarry staff reserves the right to refuse diving privileges to those people not willing to follow the guidelines set forth.
SCUBA DIVING IS FUN! BUT REMEMBER TO STAY SAFE!
SOLO DIVING AND DIVING IN THE TUNNEL
Solo diving is not permitted at White Star Quarry. All divers must enter and exit the water with a buddy who is willing to take responsibility for them.
At the north end of the quarry there is a sumerged room and building with a connecting tunnel. This tunnel is off limits to all divers without express, written, permission from the scuba concession staff. Divers who are suspected of entering the tunnel without a permit will be subject to fines and may have future diving rights revoked by the park district. Permits, tunnel orientations and associated tags are available to qualified divers at the scuba concession during normal scuba concession hours.
There is a Lot of Life Here
- Blue Gill - These colorful little fish make nests in the shallows during the summer months.
- Brown Trout - These fish are added to the population from time to time as fingerlings. They are a favorite food of the bass and are often difficult to find.
- Frogs - They swim deep to stay warm in the fall. You can find them above the thermoclines hiding under logs and rocks
- Emerald Shiners - Often released by careless fisherman, these school in the shallows and make safety stops fun.
- Common Carp - These fish can grow huge but are kind of shy. They stay away from divers and swimmers and often are hiding in the shallows.
- Pumpkinseed - Bright colorful fish that often hide in the rocks.
- Spotted Gar - We know of one of them. It stays in shallow water in the trees along the south wall. We would love to see more.
- Yellow Perch - Found in the weedy areas towards the middle of the quarry. Often schooling and a great fish to approach at night.
- Rainbow Trout - Stocked in the early spring, these are favorites of fishermen but can be seen throughout the year in the quarry.
- Channel Catfish - These catfish grow HUGE! They are extremely shy but can be approach if you move quietly and avoid sudden movements
- Bullhead Catfish - Often found on night dives, these are amazing creatures to watch swim.
- Large Mouth Bass - Popular fish among divers are often found guarding broods of their offspring in the shallow water along the walls.
- Small Mouth Bass - Another Bass that can be found in the quarry. Can you tell the difference between the Largemouth and the small?
- Painted Turtles - Any turtle is a cool site to see. Remember that they breath air so do not startle them or hold them underwater as they may panic and drown.
- Rusty Crayfish - This is a popular underwater creature that can be found in the rocks during the day and foraging at night.
- Zebra Mussels - These are an aquatic invader that stick to most everything. They are, however, responsible for the incredible visibility we often have underwater.
There are numerous underwater attractions at White star quarry that have been put there for your enjoyment. Some of these items are one of a kind and many, like the underwater forests and trees that grew up when the quarry was empty can never be replaced once they are lost or damaged. Please keep this in mind and control your buoyancy and do not damage, move or deface the underwater attractions and artifacts. Some of these items have already been damaged and lost by careless divers.
If you have suggestions or wish to donate an underwater attraction to the quarry visit our contact page and send us your proposal. We can work with you to see if the item will benefit the underwater park and fit into the grand plan of the bottomlands of White Star Quarry.