Summertime and the diving is easy . Okay, not easy, but certainly easier. Diving for pearls and mussels on the Tennessee River can be tough business. We have discussed the dangers of diving including danger from other people, debris in there water and decompression issues. There are also dams to contend with and times when the river flows more rapidly than others. Winter brings rains and runoff which increases the water volume and flow. For this reason, there are definitely easier times to dive.
There are also the mussels to take into consideration and there are times of the year that they are easier to find. Mussels are tricky and can hide in the mud and muck to protect themselves from predators. According to some pearl divers, in the summer, when barometric pressure is high, the mussels sit higher to capture more oxygen from the water. I am not sure if this is truth or lore but some divers live by it. I can certainly imagine that diving for mussels is easier when they are sitting to the top of the muddy river bottom rather than in the muddy river bottom.
For these reasons, divers consider the late summer to be the best time to dive.
As usual, we call on Diver Bruce to tell us more: