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I don't think the photo gives enough info, but you likely can find that info yourself.  Some questions to ask:

1) Is this a gold producing area?  (I assume, based upon the intro, you already know this.)

2) Is this a commercially viable fishing spot?

3) Would the governing wildlife organization even (in 1970's) allow damming a creek to enhance harvesting fish?  Would they allow today?  If they did in the past would they require the dam be removed when the permit expires.  (You could also ask this question if a dam was built for precious metals recovery.)

4) Is the location sufficiently remote (or was it in the 1970's) to require dog sled access and provide secrecy/privacy for the miner in question?

There may be some other clues I'm not sufficiently knowledgeable to decipher, such as:  "If you were going to dam up this creek for gold recovery, is this the right spot for the dam?"

GL with your quest!

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I see dredger tailings in the photo so it must be a gold area.

Doesn't look like any mining in the river there. 

If more of the surrounding area was shown, might lead to a conclusion.

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Beaver dams. Whole series of old ones there, and this is the newest.

I am not seeing the dredge tailings (looks natural to me) but that might be a trail or ditch line angling down from upper right.

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you are right Steve. now that we have a larger pic.

if you enlarge the first one and look in the lower right corner, it looked like tailings.  but it must have been the river.

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Is it possible to find (e.g. government archived) LIDAR pics of that area?  I don't know how likely it is for vegitation to overgrow tailing piles in that climate, but if such happened I expect LIDAR would reveal them.

 

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2 hours ago, LipCa said:

you are right Steve. now that we have a larger pic.

if you enlarge the first one and look in the lower right corner, it looked like tailings.  but it must have been the river.

I have both taken and studied many aerial photos of Alaskan stream valleys :happy:

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