River Dredging vs. Creek Dredging—Part I
December 2011 by Ron KliewerAs I started walking down to the river one chilly morning, the mist was hanging over the calm portions of the water like a white cotton blanket. This scene got me to thinking about why the river was like that—the deep pools, boulder fields, gravel bars, the effects of how much water was moving at any given time along the watercourse—and most of all the relationship all these things have on where I will be able to find gold.
Setting up a gravity dredge
The technique I will describe is a much safer alternative and it works. It’s a fine-gold panning technique that eliminates the need for mercury amalgamation of most placer samples.
Years later I returned with a new detector with a smaller coil and detector technology more sensitive to smaller nuggets. I found my first nugget within five minutes. I had a second five minutes after that.
The big moment finally arrived. With Norm suited up, I pulled the motor to life and felt instantly better. There’s really something relaxing about the sound of a dredge running—they don’t sound like anything else.
My metal detecting hobby began about ten years ago when I bought a used metal detector for about $300. I got it specifically to look for meteorites. It was pretty much worthless, not user friendly, and I did not find anything with it.
• Can I get advice on a hard rock property in Calaveras County, California?
The only thing that saved me was talking to a local miner who gave me a “heads up” that private individuals owned all the mineral rights in that section.
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