Nature is amazing, especially during spring thaws that create high water events. So, what happens when your gold-bearing gravel bar becomes a resting place for migrating fish?
Simple: everything changes in how you prospect the area. This is almost the same photo as the last Where’s the Gold, but with an addition courtesy of Fish and Game. This is not a one-off addition; these are being installed in a lot of rivers in a lot of states because they work.
In the last WTG I pointed out four places that all contained gold values and where to mine to recover dollars-per-yard over specks in a pan. Well since the time when that photo was taken two fish rests were created using timbers. The idea behind this is that just a bit upstream from this location the water is very fast and these were placed to allow a spot for fish to rest before that last battle upstream to spawning areas.
If you have the January-February 2021 GPAA Magazine handy, grab it and open up to the last WTG. If you don’t have your magazine handy, log on to the GPAA website and go to the Learn tab, open up the magazine and follow along with this. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Now, in January-February I gave you four options of where there is gold, and it was up to you to figure out where the highest values are. Your task now is to figure out where they are going to be after the 2021 winter thaws and runoff happens. You’ll be using the same A-B-C-D layout from January-February.
Here are your clues:
Upstream from this spot there is another one of these barriers. Both are designed with one intention in mind: slow the water. During winter rains and spring thaw runoff, this will be completely underwater.
A) Will remain the same or be worse for recovery. The water course now will be more directed leaving this area with few new values being deposited.
B) With the diversion of the water, the ridge will be flattened out. This will carry your largest gold values and be flat across the entire area.
C) Is where the highest values were. In this new flow pattern of water, this will no longer exist. It will be nothing more than the outer edge of B and values will slowly drop off after the first winter season.
D) Will have higher values being the top end now of B. The deciding factor on whether to work this for real values will come only after testing and sampling to figure out if the water’s cubic feet per minute post-winter storms and melt was fast enough to keep concentrating B or slow enough to concentrate all the way from D to B.
I really wanted to do this Part Two for the simple fact that you have a great view of how a single diversion will change everything in where the gold will settle out, waiting for you to find.
Kevin Hoagland is the Executive Director of Development at the Gold Prospectors Association of America and the Lost Dutchman’s Mining Association of America. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org