Undiveable river: let's hear your ideas!

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DeepSeaDan

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I posted once about a river near my home that is entirely undiveable--or only safe for trained search and recovery divers. There's a ton of boat traffic, a decent current, and very little visibility. Some people suggested getting a long clam rake and going out on a boat to scrape the bottom. I plan on trying that come spring, but here are some details because I can't find a clam rake that's long enough or somebody who welds. Let me know your ideas!


The gage depth varies between 8 to 15 ft. The brightest idea would be to go after a long dry spell, no? There's also the question of where to look. The river is probably a quarter-mile wide and another river flows into it. That other river, let's call it River B, used to have the first city dump on its banks. What didn't burn got thrown into the river back then. All along both rivers, residents would throw their trash into the water before public sanitation, so it's likely that there's 10-15 miles of river that could have some treasure. Where should I focus my attention? At the confluence of the two rivers? At the deepest point of the river? How much do bottles move beneath the water? I'm not sure of the composition of the riverbed, unfortunately, so I can't take that into consideration; I do believe it's muddy/silty though. And the flow is 16-50 kcfs.

Thanks in advance

I posted once about a river near my home that is entirely undiveable--or only safe for trained search and recovery divers. There's a ton of boat traffic, a decent current, and very little visibility. Some people suggested getting a long clam rake and going out on a boat to scrape the bottom. I plan on trying that come spring, but here are some details because I can't find a clam rake that's long enough or somebody who welds. Let me know your ideas!


The gage depth varies between 8 to 15 ft. The brightest idea would be to go after a long dry spell, no? There's also the question of where to look. The river is probably a quarter-mile wide and another river flows into it. That other river, let's call it River B, used to have the first city dump on its banks. What didn't burn got thrown into the river back then. All along both rivers, residents would throw their trash into the water before public sanitation, so it's likely that there's 10-15 miles of river that could have some treasure. Where should I focus my attention? At the confluence of the two rivers? At the deepest point of the river? How much do bottles move beneath the water? I'm not sure of the composition of the riverbed, unfortunately, so I can't take that into consideration; I do believe it's muddy/silty though. And the flow is 16-50 kcfs.

Thanks in advance
What are conditions like in "River B?"
 

MountainMan304

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What are conditions like in "River B?"
Sorry for the late reply, I haven't been on here in awhile. Conditions are murkier and muddier from the surface. Very steep banks with no way to get down to the water except by-way of the other river which connects to it. The water deepens quickly, from 2-3 feet to 8 feet within a couple yards. Unsure of the amount of flow, but it seems to be slower.
 

Harry Pristis

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Safest options:
- Get more diver training and experience.
- Find a different river.

There are riskier options:
- Hunt by feel as you hang onto your boat anchor line.
- Hunt by feel as you hang onto a safety line attached to your boat.

Hunting a river in zero visibility is a nervy thing, full of adrenaline rushes. A boat is almost a necessity because a bank entry takes you into the deadfall snags along the shore. Safety line hang-ups, entry, and exit can be problematic.

From a boat, my dive-buddy and I each had a 15 lb. fluked anchor on 50-foot lines, and still we were dragged along by the falling tide in a coastal river.

Then there are the "monsters" . . . the trees and other things that you bump into in the blackness. Once, I was dragged into contact with a huge gelatinous mudball that had been eroded out of the surrounding saltmarsh. I just knew it was something alive because when I kicked at it, the thing just shivered. I had to use my hands to identify it as non-threatening.

Many times in the Suwannee River, even when there was some visibility with a light, I felt a "test bite" on my air tank. When I rolled over, I would discover I had moved under a sunken tree trunk. Adrenaline!

BTW, it is a bad idea to wear rubberized waders when probing in a river for bottles. You can slip into a hole, the waders can fill with river water, and you can have a serious problem recovering. Wear your jeans or a wetsuit (and knee pads). Good Hunting!
 
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mingoman64

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One other thing to keep in mind, I know from swimming in the Mississippi, if people set out trot lines there's the possibility of getting tangled up in one.
With a decent current it will pull you under.
Keep a sharp knife on you or better yet avoid the stronger current.

Sent from my SM-G960U1 using Tapatalk
 
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Harry Pristis

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Trotlines! I got hooked on a trotline in a crystal-clear, spring-fed stream -- the Santa Fe River in North Florida. It snagged my wetsuit only. I surfaced to find the owner watching me cut up his illegal trotline.

Being spring-fed, the Santa Fe water has a low oxygen content -- it doesn't support a large fish population; small sunfish seem to be most common. Why you'd need a trotline to catch those little sunfish has always puzzled me.
 

Digswithstick

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How about an extendable pole saw,I think the 8' ones extend to 15' there are longer ones.
Take off saw and put on clam rake?
Might have to improvise rake
 
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Len

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Might be worth a try. Let us know how it goes and then line up a patent lawyer. :)
PS- Put me on the mailing list. Throw in "Online Club Member free S.+H." and you might just hear a bunch of "Ca-chings!"
 
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willong

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BTW, it is a bad idea to wear rubberized waders when probing in a river for bottles. You can slip into a hole, the waders can fill with river water, and you can have a serious problem recovering.
That's the reason for cinching a belt around the top of that style of waders. It might also have something to do with the popularlity of the more recent type of snugly-fitting neoprene (like a wetsuit) waders.

That said, the lesson hit home for me before I actually adopted the cinch-belt practice for waterfowling in saltwater marshlands. Contemplating an in-coming tide with only a couple inches of freeboard to the waders' top while one's feet seem firmly mired, and sinking, in the muddy bottom of a slough tends to lodge such a lesson indelibly in one's memory.
 

Len

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Will,
You probably just saved a few rookie's their lives, or at least several minutes of possible panicky terror. Exercising the silent proxy votes of their friends + loved ones.--Thanks.:cool:
 

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