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Spring Lake Diving

  • On September 1, 2023, we enacted dive restrictions for allowable dive numbers due to sustained low flows below 80 cfs. These restrictions were implemented per guidance of the Spring Lake Management Plan and the Habitat Conservation Plan. 

    Upon implementation of these restrictions, we have been monitoring the effects of these restrictions and how they have impacted the delicate environment of Spring Lake.

    In consultation with the City of San Marcos, EAA, and USFWS, it has been determined that the reduction in diving activities and maintenance of the springs has resulted in putting a heavier strain on the springs and environment for the threatened and endangered species of the Lake. It has, therefore, been determined that allowable dive numbers and spring maintenance shall be allowed to resume to normal capacity.  

    Effective November 1, 2023, we will reinstate all diving activities to normal capacity in Spring Lake, ensuring we are maintaining and protecting the springs and environment of Spring Lake at an optimal level. 

    The Lake Manager will continue to monitor daily, and if sustained turbidity levels occur, safety or other issues arise from diving activities, a determination to cease or further reduce all diving activities will be assessed in collaboration with the Meadows Center Chief Science Officer and the SL Environmental Review Committee.

    For more information or if you have any questions, please contact the Spring Lake Management team at the following:

    Mike Flores, Spring Lake Dive Coordinator at:

    Aaron Wallendorf, Lake Manager at:

    Rob Dussler, Director of Spring Lake Education at:

Spring Lake: Unique in the world.

Diver in Spring Lake

At the headwaters of the San Marcos River, more than 200 artesian springs bubble up to form Spring Lake. Here, human history stretches back more than 12,000 years to the last ice age and natural history even further. Spring Lake is a jewel for divers.

Spring Lake at The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment is home to:

  • crystal-clear waters that remain a constant 72 degrees year-round
  • one of the world’s largest aquifer-driven spring systems
  • seven threatened and endangered species
  • a state antiquities landmark
  • the longest continuously inhabited site in North America
  • ongoing biological and archaeological research and many collaborative projects
  • likely the densest population of turtles in the United States..and more

Our diving program partners with select scuba divers to protect and preserve Spring Lake's abundant natural, historical, and cultural resources. We train citizen scientist divers, and in return, they volunteer their time to one of the most unique habitat restoration projects in the country.

Dive Spring Lake

Learn more about our dive programs at Spring Lake.

Dive Reservation Requests

Schedule a volunteer or open water checkout dive at Spring Lake.

​Friendly reminder to all Spring Lake instructors and divers: We need your Help! Please keep in mind that the public restrooms at Spring Lake are also used by faculty, staff, and our general public visitors. While we know changing out of wetsuits can be a messy endeavor, we appreciate your best efforts to keep the facilities as tidy as possible for the next person. As always, we appreciate your support at Spring Lake.

Spring Lake Diving Policies and Procedures

  • Policies and Procedures

    • Hours for diving are as follows for Instructors using the Training Area and Volunteers diving throughout the Lake:

      Weekday Hours

      • Open Water Checkout Instructors: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.; 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
      • Volunteers:  11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.; 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

      Weekend Hours

      • Open Water Checkout Instructors:  8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.; 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.; 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
      • Volunteers:  8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.; 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.; 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    • The Training Area will be restricted to 48 open water students per day, and volunteers will be restricted to 16 divers per day.

    • All divers must sign in at the Ticket Kiosk before their dive and sign out afterwards before leaving the premises.  No exceptions.  Failure to do so may result in forfeiture of your dive privileges at Spring Lake.

    • Cloth face coverings are not required on the premises, regardless if indoors or outdoors, however they are encouraged.

    • The process to request time in the Training Area or Volunteer in the springs is no longer accomplished by emailing the Dive Coordinator.  Now, all requests are done by completing and submitting an online form for the Training Area or for a volunteer dive, which are found below.