Post current conditions for Norfork

34 Responses to “Norfork”

  1. Denise Weber says:

    Surface temps at Norfork are 82 degrees. For the dive sites near Jordan Marina, visibility for the first 20 feet is muck diving (1 to 4 feet), but clears up about the time you get to 22 feet. The thermoclime is at 25 feet.

    This weekend, I dove the Gypsy, Rickety Wreck, School Bus, and Elephant Rocks. I got 8 to 10 feet or more under the thermoclime. Closer to the dam, divers have gotten 15-20 feet of visibility under the thermoclime in 25 to 35 feet of water.

    Water temps at 30 feet was 64 degrees on my computer. It was 62 degrees at 41 when we dove the School Bus. The bus still has a line running to it.

    If it’s sunny, ambient light penetrates to about 45 or 50 feet. At 60 feet it is dark!

    I’m a wuss when it comes to cold, so I’ll still be in my 7mm until mid July, but my students have been doing fine in two piece 3mm (farmer john and shorty) and a hood.

    As of 6/21/08 Norfork Lake is still 23 feet higher than normal. That means, unless you are diving a bluff, the first 20 feet of shoreline is covered in brush and trees. The only reason to go there is that’s where the fish are! Bring two knives — one to filet the fish and one to cut the fishing line that strung up in the branches you’re swimming through!

    Jordan Marina has a courtesy dock near shore so you don’t have to haul your dive gear a long way…just drive your car to the courtesy dock and bring your boat to it. See you at the lake!

  2. Denise Weber says:

    Woohoo!!! Visibility has improved!

    Last week I would have characterized the viz as “snot” with “scuba loogies” suspended in the first 25 feet of the water, but not anymore!!! All of that seems to have settled to the bottom, leaving the water much, much clearer than before.

    I dove the VW Van and had at least 15 feet of viz at 45 feet of depth. I even got 5 to 7 feet above the thermoclime. I would say it was roughly the same at the Rickety Wreck.

    The fish are all still shallow…just sweating in the 87 degree surface temps, but to move down is to move into the vast wide open and they are still avoiding it. To spear fish, drop into 30 feet of water. Swim up to the brushline at 22 feet and look up.

  3. snagel says:

    Submitted by Jordanmarinadc (ScubaBoard)

    Annual Treasure Hunt Aug. 16th


    I thought you should know about a fun diving event coming up soon!!! The Norfork Lake Chamber of Commerce and Jordan Marina are having the Annual Treasure Hunt on August 16, 2008. It’s a benefit for the American Cancer Society.

    Last year 80 divers and their families participated and over $7000 in prizes were given out!

    Due to lake levels, the event will be held at the lake’s edge in the Jordan Campground. There will actually be some shade their for the families and friends of the divers! Tokens are hidden no deeper than 40 feet and you can get more air fills if you need them during the contest.

    There will be a scavenger hunt for the families while the diving is going on. This event is a lot of fun and I hope that you can make it!

    As for a current diving update…
    Norfork is even hotter now… the surface temp is 89! It feels GREAT to get under the thermoclime and cool off! Visibility is still good under the thermoclime, but not so good above it. The fish are still hanging in the submerged brush (the first 17 feet of shoreline.) They’ve got to move down soon or they are all going to overheat, but for now, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel!

  4. piffle says:

    Dove on 4/10/09 on some bluffs between Jordan Marina and the dam. Had 52 degrees and about 12 to 15 feet vis, which was’nt too bad considering the severe thunderstorms Thursday night. The folks at Jordan Marina great and very helpful as usual.

  5. Denise Weber says:

    This is the moment we’ve been waiting for… after last year’s flood and poor visibility, we’ve been anxiously awaiting the spring 2009 “turn”. When the turn happens, visibility jumps up dramatically.

    Current surface temp as of 4/19/09 is 53 degrees and visibility is about 22 feet. Today was really windy with surface chop and the shoreline was stained, both from the wave action and runoff from last night’s rain. But the lake has definitely started to turn and clear up. Lake levels are right at normal.

    This time of year is a great time to dive some of the homesites on Norfork Lake. The extra visibility helps not only to locate them, but also to put a mental map together because you can see more of the site at a time.

    Other than this current rain, we expect to see visibility continue to climb to over 30 feet until the surface temps at Norfork hit about 68 (usually around Memorial Day).

    You can always check temperature and visibility for Norfork Lake at

  6. Denise Weber says:

    Dive conditions are at their peak for this year!!!!

    Today Dan went out to shoot underwater video and the footage is spectacular! He went to the 1A Homesite (unmarked on maps), Dynamite Shack, Devil’s Backbone, Thumb Print Homesite, Hank’s Bluff, Dam Site, Bunch of Boulders and Fish Market.

    There’s one shot he got while diving Hank’s Bluff…he turned the camera toward the surface and the sun is sparkling through the water. He was at 80 feet!!!!

    This is a great time to dive the homesites! The visibility allows you to see the site in it’s entirety and it’s easier to see the layout of the home foundations, wells, fruit cellars, etc.

    Surface temp is 62 degrees. Visibility can be upwords of 50 feet. Yesterday, there was a particulate in the water (very light) for the first 40 feet and then very clear. Today, it seemed to have settled out.

    Water levels are just barely above normal (2 feet). We missed most of the rain that hit central Arkansas this past week.

    We’ve been seeing a great abundance of fish this year. I guess last year’s flood was good for something!

  7. snagel says:

    Original Post by Piffle on ScubaBoard:

    I dove the bluffs Saturday 5-9-09. Friday night Lake Norfork received 2″ of rain. Even after that, I still had 25′ vis on the surface and about 40′ from 25′ down. Any site that has steep walls on the bank is probably your best bet for now until things settle out again. The lake is still in good shape after the Friday storms and worth the trip. The folks at Jordan Marina will set you up with the directions to best spots and hook you up with anything else you might need for your dive trip.

  8. snagel says:

    Original Post by Goose on ScubaToys

    I dove Norfork on Wednesday and Thursday (5/13/09 & 5/14/09). The vis is unbelieveable!!!!! 40-45 feet. We got a bunch of rain Wednesday night and it didn’t affect a thing.

    I highly recomend checking it out before something changes. Go talk with Dan and Dennise at Jordan. They’ll give you good info on the best places to go.

  9. piffle says:

    I made it back down to Norfork (Jordan Marina) this past Sunday and Monday, and managed to get in 3 dives between the storms that rolled through. I think I must bring the rain with me or something. I dove White Bluff, the dam, and the fish market. I had around 20′ vis and surface temp of 78 degrees. At 20′ there is a noticable thermocline, which below the temp dropped to about 70 degrees and the vis got little better. If you’re into the spearfishing thing, the season opened Monday and I did see some nice walleye and crappie being brought in. It is next on my scuba to do list. As always, the staff at Jordan Marina were very helpful and freindly.

  10. Denise Weber says:

    It’s that time of the year again!!! THE SPRING TURN IS HERE!!! Shout it from the rooftops…visibility is fabulous!

    Don’t let the yellow haze on the surface of the water scare you. The water is clear under the surface. Jerry had 50 feet of horizontal viz at 60 feet under water last week near the dam.

    Dan will be diving tomorrow afternoon and I’ll have more to report then!

    Lake levels are near normal.

  11. ozarkdiver says:

    Dove Norfork on May 7th. Vis was about 12-15 ft., with the surface temp 64 degrees.

  12. admin says:

    August 2010

    Just got back from Norfork and had a great time. Diving conditions were not the best due to the extreme heat of late July/Aug. The muck level has increased. We were able to dive down to about 25′ hitting the thermocline. Viz in this area got up to 15-20′. We had a great time diving the shallow dives without all the rubber and weight. Through the thurmocline, viz dropped to a few feet. We made one deep dive to 65′ hoping it would open up, but just got darker and darker.

    Temps: We dove in just trunks. The water within the first 20′ was upper 80’s to lower 90’s (Bathtub water).

    I have to give a huge plug for Denise and Dan at Jordan Marina. They are great hosts and definately take care of you.

    Check out our full report on the blog page!


  13. Snagel says:

    April 2011

    Prior to the flooding visibility was 40+ with temps at 59 degrees. Last week of April rains brought flooding to the point the water level was to the top of the dam. Will be some time before conditions return due to the flooding. Call Jordan’s Marina before you go down this summer for up to date conditions. The water levels will probably be higher all summer due to this flooding.


  14. snagel says:

    August 2, 2011
    Original Post by SteveBF on ScubaBoard

    Dove lake Norfork this past weekend. As usual Dan and Denise at Jordan marina were great. The lake is up 17 ft right now so the parking lot is under water making parking a little complicated but nothing that could not be overcome.

    Viz isn’t great and from the surface to about 30 ft it’s like descending through snot. It opens up beautifully to around 20-25 ft at about 30 ft but starts to get pretty dark… at 40 ft you really need a dive light. Didn’t have a thermometer but there almost seems to be 2 thermoclines one right around 15 ft and then again at about 30 Ft
    It was pretty cold below 30… I wore a 7/5mm suit with 5mm gloves and hood and was still a little cold at 60 ft although I’m a wuss about cold so it may just be me

    I finally got around to diving the white bluffs and it is by far my favorite site there now and for you spear fishermen (and fisherwomen) the place is rotten with walleye… they seem to be hanging right around 15ft where the vis is about 4-6 ft.


  15. snagel says:

    The Annual Underwater Treasure Hunt is on Saturday, August 20th! Registration at 9am. Briefing at 10am, then let the fun begin!

  16. ozarkdiver says:

    Dove Norfork on 5/4. Vis about 12 ft…..temp above thermocline about 68

  17. Snagel says:

    Just spent the weekend with our good friends at Jordan Marina. Ambient Temps hovering around 110 degrees….Wow, was it hot!

    Water temps was averaging 85 degrees. Not really sure what happened to all the viz this year. Pretty much Muck Diving maybe 5 foot above thermocline. Got a little better down below around 40 foot and deeper better yet, but absolutely no light and colder in the 60’s.

    Denise said everything was looking good and then they got some drenching rain and things have been going downhill. She thinks the viz may return to maybe 15 feet at some point. Keep an eye on their website for current updates.


  18. Snagel says:

    August 2012
    Original Post by AvontheDiver on Scubaboard

    Yes the viz is very poor on norfork right now 5ft is about right before the t-line and opens up after that to around 15ft and better as you go deeper. It’s been hard running ow skills in only 5-10ft viz at best

  19. Todd says:

    Dove the treasure hunt on Saturday (Aug 18). wonderful idea but the vis was horrible. We took the boat and went over to devils backbone instead. That would be an excellent site if the vis comes back. I would say that objects are visible at 5′ but you cant recognize or focus on anything until its about 2-1/2′ away. it looks like the same algae bloom that hit Table Rock this spring.

    water temp above the thermocline was 84.

  20. Snagel says:

    October 1, 2012
    Information provided by Denise at Jordan’s Marina

    went diving yesterday and actually viz has improved! The thermoclime has dissolved…well it’s probably down at about 45-50 feet, but I was above that yesterday. Viz wasn’t nearly as bad as it got there for a while. I would put it at about 8, although I posted 6 on the website just in case where I was diving was better than average.

    There should still be really clear water under the thermoclime, but at those depths, it is dark.


  21. CJ says:

    Dove Norfork near Woods Point and Curly Point on Oct 21st. Water temp was 68. I mainly stayed around 20 ft looking for game fish. Vis across from Curly point was 3-5 ft and I never saw a fish, Bluffs near woods point- vis was closer to 6-8 ft and seemed to get better the deeper I went (34 ft max), but got dark quickly. Saw several large mouth and a couple turtles, which makes for a fairly disapointing fishing trip.

  22. Snagel says:

    Spearfishing Contest & Fish Fry

    B.Y.O.F. (Bring your own fish and we’ll share some of our walleye!)

    Saturday June 15, 2013

    $100.00 Biggest Catfish

    $100.00 Biggest Walleye

    $25.00 Big Crappie

    $25.00 2nd Biggest Catfish

    $25.00 2nd Biggest Walleye

    Register at Jordan Marina
    Lake Norfork, AR
    $20 registration fee
    (Must register before 10 a.m. on day of contest)
    Weigh in before 4:00
    Fish Fry at 4:00

  23. Snagel says:

    Spent Fathers Day Weekend (6/14-6/16 2013) at Norfork Lake. One of the best Fathers Day weekends I’ve had.

    Weather – Perfect
    Visibility – 25-35′
    Water Temps – 80 degrees on top

    Very enjoyable weekend and great to see our friends at Jordan Marina again.


  24. Snagel says:

    July 15, 2013

    Well just got back again from Norfork Lake. Had another awesome weekend at Jordan Marina. Visibility falling off from what it was earlier in the year, but still good Midwest Diving. We primarily stayed in the shallows where the water was 84 degrees. Pretty much skinsuit only. Visibility was 20 feet in the shallows depending on where you were at. The Thermocline was sitting about 20′. We made a trip down to about 40 feet and it got cold without the 7mm

    Found a new dive site off Sand Island. Appears a plane found it’s resting place in the bottom of Norfork.


  25. Snagel says:


    It’s that magical time of the year…the Spring Turn!!! Norfork is looking great right now! We’re reporting 30-40 feet, horizontal viz, with 28 vertical viz measured today.

    Lake levels are right at normal and the surface temp of the lake just hit 56 degrees. We will enjoy good viz while surface temps slowly climb towards 70 degrees — barring any torrential downpours. After 70 degrees, we’ll lose about 10 feet of viz for every 10 degree gain in surface temperature.

    If you have a dry suit, or are willing to get a little cold, you ought to be in our water!

    Jordan Marina
    (870) 499-7348

  26. Snagel says:

    May 2014
    Memorial Weekend

    Visibility in April was in the 40′ range and fell a little during May. We experienced 25-30 viz in a lot of areas. Locations near the Dam and The Cliffs by Jordan Marina were the best. The thermocline is around 30 feet. Water temp above in the 70’s and 60’s below.

    We dove with 7mm and hooded vests and were comfortable.

  27. Snagel says:

    June 20, 2014

    Spent the weekend at Norfork Lake and Jordan Marina. Once again a great trip. Dive conditions is a little hard to explain……strange year.

    Water Temp: Surface 80 degrees. Thermocline at 13 feet and temp drops. At 40 feet water temp in low 60’s. We wore 7mm with hooded vest and had no issues.

    Visibility: This really depends on what side of the lake you are on, how close to the dam you are, and what time of day. We found the best viz on the north side of the lake earlier in the day. Jordan has it listed at 18′. Closer to the surface and deeper 18′ is reasonable and maybe better depending on where you are at. There is a muck layer starting about 13 feet going to about 30 feet where the viz drops off.

    Typically the better viz is closer to the dam. Later in the summer really good viz at the surface with muck layers below. In August we simply dive the first 20 feet in swim trunks and no neoprene. Great easy dives.


  28. snagel says:

    Lake Norfork Treasure Hunt

    Bring the whole family!

    When: Saturday August 16, 2014
    Where: Sand Island, Lake Norfork
    Why: Fun, prizes and benefit for St. Jude and DAN
    Who: Lake Norfork Chamber of Commerce

    $30 Pre-Registration at Jordan Marina

    9:00 – 10:00 Registration at Sand Island
    10:00 – 1:00 Diving and fun!
    1:30 Prizes

    Rules: Must show scuba diving certification card
    Must dive with a buddy
    Must exit water with 500 psi
    No scuba diving deeper than 40 ft.

    Call Jordan Marina at (870) 499-7348 for more information!!!

  29. snagel says:

    Had another great weekend at Norfork Lake. Can’t believe Labor Day has came and gone marking the end to another summer….wow…it just started.

    Great to see all our friends at Jordan Marina.

    Dive Conditions: Water temp at surface in the low 80’s (bath water). Viz depends on where you are at. We dove Saturday during rain and it was awesome. Sunday the water got a little milky, but would say generally 15 feet viz.


  30. Snagel says:

    Sept 4-7 2015

    Another great trip to Norfork Lake and Jordan Marina.

    Due to early summer flooding the lake is still about 16 feet above normal pool. At the marina the road down to the marina is flooded out and you cannot reach the boat ramp. People were launching from other areas on the lake or down the access the road. Several camp sites were under water, the beach under water, and sand island is just a couple trees sticking out of the water.

    The diving, not too bad. Bath water in the shallows, but viz very soupy…maybe 10′ at best in the shallows. As you go deeper the T-cline is at 25′ foot but not very noticeable. As you go deeper it gets real dark around 30′, but then opens up about 40′ foot and is pretty clear. Not bad temps either at depth. If you want to dive, you need to plan on going to at least 40′. We wore 7mm with no hood or gloves and felt toasty.

    As always, the folks at Jordan Marina were awesome. Due to “life” this was our first trip down this year. It sounds like the marina is going to undergo some interesting changes this off season. They are moving things around.


  31. ozarkdiver says:

    To Snagel: Do you know of any good shore-diving sites on Norfork?

  32. SteveC says:

    A good shore dive is at Jordan Marina. Enter to the left of the swim beach and continue towards the bluff area. The bottom stair steps down and you can dive at any depth you want. There is lots to see and usually you can find some stuff that the jumpers drop.

  33. ozarkdiver says:

    To SteveC….thanks for the info on Norfork. Went up there but the lake was brown (still 10 feet high), so I went back and dove Greers. Greers is a couple of feet below normal, and I’m getting about 20 ft. of vis below 40 ft of depth (towards the dam).

  34. Snagel says:

    `July 2, 2016

    Water Temp 85 at surface. Thermocline around 20′ and water gets much colder. Viz at surface 10 feet depending on where you are at. Once you hit the thermocline it pretty much blacks out to a couple feet at best.

    If you want to do some easy diving around 20′ feet, the water is great an no rubber is required.

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