Please read this for a more thorough discussion of the difference between a “dredge” and a motorized suction system.
SPECIAL RULES FOR UNDERWATER SUCTION MINING:
1) Suction mining in the active waterway, or within 100 yards of the active waterway, must not use a “suction dredge” as defined by California’s regulations (motorized pump generating suction through a hose to feed a sluice box) unless the operator possesses a valid California suction dredge permit.
2) No nozzle with an intake restriction ring larger than 4-inches in diameter may be used within 100 yards of an active waterway on New 49’er-controlled properties.
3) No excavation into the stream bank of an active waterway is allowed. This does not mean that bedrock cracks along the edge of a waterway cannot be worked. It means the bed material (rocks, sand and silt) must be left alone which rises up from the bedrock and creates a structure that holds the existing waterway in its path. This also means the stream bank may not be undermined or destabilized in any way.
4) Boulders and woody debris along the stream bank of an active waterway must be left alone.
5) Underwater suction mining without the use of a “dredge” is only allowed on our Klamath River properties between the Scott and Salmon Rivers on a year-round basis, and up the Klamath from its confluence with the Scott from the 4th Saturday in May through September 30. Underwater suction mining is permitted along our creek properties and the Scott River from July 1 to September 30. Underwater suction mining is permitted on the Salmon River from July 1 through September 15.
6) Underwater suction mining may not be pursued in any way that violates Water Quality standards, or exceeds Streambed Alteration standards. These are addressed in our Surface Mining Guidelines just above.