Just to help with clarifying the issue.
SEC. 3. Section 13172.5 is added to the Water Code, to read:
13172.5. (a) For purposes of this section, the use of any vacuum or suction dredge equipment, also known as
suction dredging, is the use of a mechanized or motorized system for removing or assisting in the removal of,
or the processing of, material from the bed, bank, or channel of a river, stream, or lake in order to recover
minerals. This section does not apply to, prohibit, or otherwise restrict nonmotorized recreational mining
activities, including panning for gold.
Do not get this mixed up with other types of mining, this only pertains to dredging, not motorized sluicing known as high-banking. Motorized Sluicing in California is controlled within other regulations when it is above casual use within a jurisdiction. In California this would be controlled mainly through a 1600 stream alteration permit within the CFW when it goes beyond casual disturbance. This statement with regard to California SB 637 and the regulation based on it can be defended as not relating to Motorized sluicing (high banking) without question in my opinion.