Covered with ice for six months of the year, Balık Lake awaits divers with opportunities offered in both summer and winter.
Located in the Taşlıçay district of Ağrı province, Turkey's Balık Lake is situated at the highest altitude of all lakes in Turkey at 2,250 meters above sea level.
Boasting an ideal environment suitable for all types of diving including free-diving, scuba-diving and under-ice diving, Balık Lake is preferred also for its conduciveness with horizontal and vertical diving techniques.
Fed by pure springs, the lake's clear waters offer a visibility distance of up to 10 meters and the lake is suitable for underwater imaging, free-diving and scuba diving.
In addition to the diving opportunities it offers, the underwater flora and fauna also add extra beauty to the lake, which was also visited by professional Free Diving World Champion Şahika Ercümen for diving.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Ağrı Directorate of Forestry and Water Affairs Necati Kara said that Balık Lake is a lake which came into being as a result of lava flow from the Ağrı Mountains.
Stating that the lake is fed by a small river flowing from the nearby mountains, the freshwater spring and the underwater springs, Kara said, "Balık Lake is one of the lakes with the highest altitude in Turkey. With 70 meters of maximum depth, its fresh water can be used as potable water. The river begins in the southeast and feeds the Doğubayazıt reeds. Generally, it is covered with ice for five months out of the year. Just a small spot on its northern side does not freeze thanks to the powerful sources. The shores of the lake are muddy and its southeast is home to little reeds."Noting that the lake is a typical alpine lake surrounded with high meadows, Kara added, "Its shores are covered with thin, partial reed strips which are lusher to the north and south, where the water flow originates. The need for potable water in Doğubayazıt and surrounding villages is supplied via the Balık Lake. On the lake, where fishery activities are conducted, people catch fish by cracking the top layers of ice in the winter to go fishing."
One of the free divers of the İskender Iğdır Ağrı Mountain Search and Rescue team of the Alpinism and Nature Sports Club (AKUD), Coşkun Oluz, also stated that the lake is ideal for diving sports.
He indicated that the lake is suitable for free-diving and scuba diving in summer and under-ice diving in winter, noting: "There are so many beautiful, different plants from the shores of the lake to the bottom of the lake. During the diving sessions we conduct here, we came across various fresh water animals in addition to salmon and common carp. There are specific spots for diving on the lake. As windy weathers result in weaving on the lake, the underwater visibility distance decreases. Its underwater flora offers a quite different beauty. Balık is a spot that divers must definitely visit. We invite everyone who is interested in diving to come here. Balık is a great, close destination for experiencing all kinds of diving."