Wisconsin has a plethora of inland lakes. 15,074 of them to be exact. All of them can be wonderful destinations; each for their own reasons. Having been born and raised in Wisconsin and possessing a love of water, I am familiar with many of the lakes this state has to offer. This time around we needed one that fit a specific sport. Scuba Diving. While all of the waters here deserve recognition, many of them are not very fun to dive in because of low visibility. We set out to find the perfect diving spot in Wisconsin and we found a worth while experience at Black Oak Lake.

Welcome to Black Oak Lake

Black Oak Lake Wisconsin
The Shores of Black Oak Lake: Photo by Alan Rupnick

Black Oak Lake resides in northern Wisconsin near Land O’ Lakes. It is 564 acres in size and one of the deeper lakes in Wisconsin, with a maximum depth of around 85 feet. However the mean depth is around 34 feet which makes for some wonderful diving. Black Oak lake is teaming with wildlife and fish which include Panfish, Large Mouth Bass, Small Mouth Bass, Northern Pike, Trout and Walleye. It’s a great place for all manner of water recreation as well as camping and other outdoor activities.

Small Mouth Bass in Black Oak Lake Wisconsin
A Small Mouth Bass pays us a visit: Photo by Alan Rupnick

An enjoyable Wisconsin scuba diving destination

Black Oak Lake has incredibly clear water for a Wisconsin lake. At times the visibility is as much as 30 feet. As such it offers a diving experience very few inland lakes here can lay claim to. The thermocline averaged between 20 and 25 feet down so that is the depth we stayed at. I didn’t have a wetsuit along so the temperature became very unpleasant very quickly below that depth.

The entire lake is sandy and entry into the water was easy. Just walk in, put on your gear and go. However, public access to the lake is limited to a boat launch/beach. So if you have access to a boat it would offer the ability to explore much more of the lake than we were able to see. This isn’t a tiny lake and two tanks of air will only get you so far. Even so, the area we did get to explore did not disappoint. It was definitely the most enjoyable dive I’ve ever taken in Wisconsin.

A rose is not without its thorn

The only downside to diving this lake is that the nearest place to refill your tanks is a bit over an hour drive. Oddly enough locals told us we were the first divers that they had seen on the lake. So I guess that would explain why there are no local businesses catering to divers. They were quite excited to hear stories and see pictures of our adventure in Black Oak Lake and they welcomed the idea of divers coming to explore the area.

See what it looks like under the surface of Black Oak Lake

If you would like to see some footage of our dive in Black Oak Lake, check out the video below. If you are considering a trip to this lake for diving or other recreation, I highly recommend it. You can find Black Oak Lake in Vilas County, 4.5 miles to the west of Land O’Lakes. You can find it on this Google map.