Important Note: The State of California recently passed a law which has placed a statewide moratorium on suction dredging in California until the Department of Fish & Game (DFG) completes an updated Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and completes several other requirements. This law is presently being challenged in the Third Appellate Court.
Meanwhile, just in case you do not know, this new law only stops suction dredging within California’s active waterways. It does not have anything to do with the other types of prospecting or mining that we do in California. Unaffected prospecting activities include panning, sniping & vack-mining, sluicing & high-banking, electronic prospecting and other types of prospecting that do not use a suction nozzle within an active stream, river or creek. It also does not affect our group weekend projects.
To continue prospecting the bottom of active waterways, some members have converted to underwater crevicing, using the hookah and pump from their 5 and 6 HP motors on floating platforms to provide air for breathing and a jet of water to help move material out of the way, thus coining the new method as “underwater blow mining.”
There are no seasons imposed upon the other types of surface mining activity. In other words, you can do them at any time of the year.
As the suction dredging seasons in California have been suspended, we have identified some fantastic suction dredging opportunities for our members in Southern Oregon.