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Here are my notes on the dives I've done in the Comal River, specifically from (Prince) Solms Park in New Braunfels, TX. I love drift dives, and this one is in spring-fed, clear water that's always around 71F. The rankings are relative to other green-water diving in Texas (not blue water). Feel free to post comments, opinions, questions, etc., including your dives there.


Updated: 15NOV2013

Current River Conditions/Level

(as of this writing, it's 300 cubic feet per second (cfs) which is "Recreational flow- safe for all activities - tubing open for all levels of swimmers" - makes me wanna go dive!)

Accessibility: excellent if you're using the same point for entry and exit, but drift diving is more fun to me for: good (excellent in, moderate out); there are stairs from Solms Park, Landa Park and others for people entering and exiting while toobing (inner tubes). If you miss the last exit, which is clearly marked, you will be in the Guadalupe River headed for Victoria and the Gulf of Mexico. The last exit stairs are pretty high which can make for a slog with wet dive gear. Make sure you park a second vehicle there to take you back to your entry point (it's only a few blocks from Solms Park, but walking in full, wet gear isn't exactly fun).


Cost: excellent; entrance to the park is free, you just have to find parking


Visibility: excellent; being spring fed, the vis is usually clear and as far as the bottom and shore (which is < 20'), but swimmers and rain runoff can reduce visibility, especially in slow, deep water like just before the Solms Park tube chute.

Variety of Sites: moderate; there's really just the river. You may be able to choose upstream or downstream from your entry point.


Wildlife: good, mostly typical sunfish, bass and catfish. There are turtles (sliders) and a lot of crawfish. I've seen some large plecostomi, too, probably from people dumping their aquariums. There's tons of nice plant life.


Comal River Shore Dives

Comal River, Solms Park, New Braunfels - 6 dives, latest March 2013

facilities: good; there are restrooms just up the hill from the entry stairs to the water

obstacles: good; there are rapids and low-head dams with tube chutes downstream of the park. They can be very fun, esepcially the first one at Solms Park, if you take common-sense precations. I highly recommend you counter all of your diving instincts and go feet first-face up (feet-first supine). The water at the bottom of the chute is highly aerated meaning it has reduced buoyancy. That means you can bounce off the concrete bottom, and it's better to do that with your feet and fins than with your face, head and/or first stage regulator. The first chute is on the right, and the next two are on the left. Trust me, you'd rather go through the chutes

Until recently, the Solms Park was called Prince Solms Park. I don't know why or exactly when they changed.


Comal River Boat Dives

I'm pretty sure that motorized vehicles aren't allowed on the Comal due to the toobers, rapids and low levels.

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I forgot to mention treasure hunting! If you go on a Sunday or Monday in the summer, you can find a lot of stuff. During the season (mainly spring break through summer), drunken toobers lose shades, bracelets, rings, etc. every day on the river, most of which you can find just downstream of the tube chutes / low-head dams. Every time I've gone (except for swift water rescue training in December) I've seen kids snorkeling for treasure.

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