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Creekboy

Prospecting A Creek, Need Some Guidance

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I have been doing a little sampling on the banks of a creek and have found there to be quite a bit of fine gold and a few  nuggets around. What amount of gold found sampling would prompt you bring in a dredge? And do gold concentrations on the banks usually correlate with gold in the creek? I appreciate all the help I can get! 

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The amount of gold would depend on your expectations...how much is enough to justify the work? If there is good bedrock I would sample the cracks and hardpack...sniping is a simple way to do that in shallow water...some pics of the area might produce more informed responses.

Nuggets of any picker size would certainly get my attention!

fred

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Unless you are doing this as a for profit thing, I agree with Fred. You simply have to see enough gold to get your interest. That varies depending on the person, but for me any decent showing of gold is worth following up on. There will usually be better concentrations of gold in the creek bottom than on the banks, but nothing is 100% in gold prospecting until you prove it. If you have not done it yet, a hand fed sluice box is the cheapest volume sampling device you can get. Before going to a dredge I would recommend shoveling a few yards through a sluice.

A lot of this book is overly technical but it is free and describes how the professionals go about it. Some good tidbits in there.

Placer Examination - Principles and Practice by John H. Wells

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Thank you both, I will have to get out there and do some sniping. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures but the area has quite a bit of exposed bedrock I believe limestone and lots of mining history (hydraulic pits on the hills,random digs and mines). I have  already done a bit of sluicing and have done some VERY rough calculations that put me somewhere around a pennyweight per yard not counting fines. For me this is a hobby but I most definitely want a nice return if I invest in a dredge(It would really make the wife happy haha) . Thanks for the book recommendation I love new info. 

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A pennyweight per yard is definitely enough to get me moving some earth..

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A hobby is its own reward....investing in equipment builds internal pressure to make a profit...thus no longer just a fun hobby...

I would stay low tech and enjoy the experience without any disharmonious wifely pressures...but, I like simple!

fred

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Very true Fred. It is very much so first and foremost about fun and enjoying nature for me , it's a great way for my brother and I to keep in contact. I'm lucky to have a wife that loves prospecting and is a jeweler so our interests line up quite nicely. She will be right there in the creek with me haha 

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You didn't say what state you were in.  If you are in Calif. forget the dredge.

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