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¤ Dive Courses in the Ilsesee ¤ The Lake ¤ Dive Regulations ¤

Cold water diving in Bavaria
Ah, the Ilsesee - my local lake, as it were. This is where I got my CMAS* and CMAS** certifications and had my first experience of cold water diving. Small but splendid.

Dive Courses in the Ilsesee

I got three diving certificates in this lake. In March 1999 I did the open water dives for my CMAS* with Reinhard Schmidt as my instructor and Hans Peter Schmid as my buddy. I already had

... nice pike!
the PADI OWD from Mexico but wanted to complete the course here and thought that a bit of extra training wouldn't do any harm. I'm very glad that I did it and can only recommend anyone who has done their certificate while on holiday and now wants to dive here to at least take a few acclimatisation lessons with an instructor.

Happy faces after the dive
Reinhard Schmitt (Instructor) Hans-Peter & I

After all, there's quite a difference between learning to dive in a 3mm tropics shorty with a water temperature of 27C and a visibility of 25m and learning to dive in a 7mm semi-drysuit with an ice-vest and gloves at a temperature of 7C and 2m visibility. The visibility during the exam was only m! When the instructor was in front of us, although we could see his flippers, his upper body disappeared into the mist. Under conditions like these you certainly learn a lot about buddy observation, as well as everything else. The in-struction was excellent and I have to admit that, although I did my first diving certificate in Mexico, I really learnt to dive here in the Ilsesee with Reinhard.

Baby pike on the move

The second course that I took here in the Ilsesee was the speciality Orientation & Navigation. I realised that the course had been useful when, on the day of the reopening of the TSC Alpha Dive Shop, I took part in a "UW orientation" competition and won it with my buddy Helmut - 7 minutes ahead of the second group:-) The last group gave up after three quarters of an hour :-(

Additionally I did all the open water dives for my CMAS** certification in this lake. This was made possibly by the change in regulations, which affected the ninimum depth of the lake. The Ilsesee passed - just!


The lake

I now know the lake very well - of course, it isn't very big. However, the Ilsesee has an as-tonishing variety of fish. Pike, carp, river perch, tench, and, especially at night,

eels, are the main types of fish that can be spotted. As an artificial lake it even has a couple of UW cliffs to offer - from 13m-7m. It isn't a lake for people who like to go deep or for deco freaks, although I've often seen a black-garbed tekkie with 2x12 and 2 stages (probably travel / bottom / decomix ;-). Due to its vegetation and the relatively large number of fish it is very popular throughout southern Germany (although we have even had visitors from Berlin). Unfortunately, more and more limits are being imposed on diving in the Ilsesee. There is even a danger that diving might be stopped altogether in the long term. To prevent this, I would ask all visitors to adhere to the following rules.


According to the official paper published by the City of Augsburg on 13th June 2003, the following regulations apply (among others):

  1. Diving is only permitted in the period between 15th March and 31st October
  2. During tis period Diving is only permitted from sunrise to 2 hours after sunset Monday to Friday and Saturday from sunrise to 11.00 am
  3. Entry is only permitted at the south-east corner of the lake
  4. The dives must not disturb the people swimming
  5. It is not permitted to leave pieces of equipment on the grass or bathing beaches
  6. The use of compressors is forbidden

For further information please contact

Stadt Augsburg,
Untere Wasserrechtsbehörde

TSC ALPHA 08231-917081
(Diveshop closest to the Ilsesee)


copyright Andreas Nowotny 1999

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