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  1. I was really heavy into very late fall and very early spring dredging in the late 90's time frame. This photo is from 1996 and was taken by my friend Rich Lampright. I worked a lot at Crow Creek Mine, which is glacial fed. It runs very high and fast in the summer when the glacier is melting. The best time to dredge is in the winter months when freezing temps bring the water levels down by over 50% and the water starts running crystal clear. It also made for some very cold dredging at times, but properly outfitted with a good drysuit you can stay surprisingly comfortable. Usually. Funny how some days I really was cozy and others it was just plain cold. I could operate well down to about 15 degrees. Below that, and the water literally froze in the sluice box while it was running. I resorted to subsurface dredges for the coldest spells as the box being underwater did not freeze up. But even then you see weird stuff. Ice crystals floating in the water build like snow drifts of slush behind rocks on the bottom, and giant balls of slush form on the pump intakes, eventually plugging them. Why suffer this you ask? I was seeing multi-ounce days working by myself. I took a lot of gold out of Crow Creek; even after paying a percentage to the owners it was good. In fact the best dredging I ever did. My best day in there working a 6" by myself was over 8 ounces of gold. This was my favorite dredge, my old Keene 6" with twin Honda 6HP pumps. This model was made with a molded marlex powerjet in two pieces - the jet and the flare. The jet and flare assembled was about six feet long but I could just toss it over my shoulder and carry it in one piece it was so light. The dredge had a stout frame with a lever handle leveling system, far superior to the later slide the box back and forth nonsense. The box was a well built single run sluice that I preferred over later double-decker designs. I never should have sold it. I did however, to Brian Berkhahn, and he also got a lot of gold with it. And I know he now also regrets selling it. It was the best Keene dredge I ever owned. Mark Keene told me they stopped making the marlex jets due to a high failure rate with the process but they should have either fixed the process or just charged more to make up for the failures. It was an incredible advance in the technology, and amazingly after all the years of use the inside of that jet never showed more than light scuffing. I think it was actually more durable than steel jets. This photo is first thing in the morning, breaking away all the ice that has formed around the dredge overnight.
  2. Steve - I know this is an old thread but i cant help but notice that the sluice on your 6 inch in these pictures looks a lot like a sluice i picked up with an old 5 inch dredge in Kentucky lol. I havent been able to find out anything about this box on any of the other forums. What can you tell me about it and do you have any pictures on how is is supposed to be set up right where the flare and sluice mate up. Any info and more pictures are appreciated! Thank you,
  3. I have a large collection of Keene Engineering catalogs, parts diagrams and assembly instructions going back decades. Many I have not seen available anywhere online. I am starting with the easy stuff but will be scanning and posting the older stuff also. The new download page for Keene Engineering items is a sub-category of the new Downloads Area. I just uploaded parts diagrams and assembly instructions for the older P90, P100, P180, P280, P350, and P350 pumps plus several full line catalogs. I will be adding things as I get the time and am in the mood - some of the docs will need some cleaning up before posting. I will notify forum members when I make new uploads.
  4. Had a great day out last weekend. Temps got close to 60, but still had to use the wet suit heater. Definitely a worth while trip, with some nice coarse chunky gold. Most of the gold was found caught up in a quartz vein. Hard to tell if it actually came from that vein or just got caught there. Will be crushing some of the vein to see if anything comes out of it. Either way the gold did not travel far at all which has been typical of all the gold found in this stretch of creek. Hopefully ill be able to dredge there one more time before the end of the year. Currently sitting at 0.90 oz for the year would love to get that last 0.1 to make an ounce for this year. We will see.
  5. Looking to pick up a 4in in the next bit here. Keene? Proline? Or will the difference even matter for a novice? All opinions appreciated.
  6. Or at least not published on the internet before. If you all have not been following my Chisana Story you will want to check it out. Lots of rare photos of Alaska locations and history plus lots of dredging photos. Keene 4" suction dredge on Little Eldorado Creek, Alaska Keene 4" gold dredge on Bonanza Creek, Alaska 4" Dahlke suction dredge in action Bonanza Creek, Alaska
  7. https://www.americanminingrights.com/dredging-in-california-next-year/ Whether there is any truth to this, or it is stonewalled by legislation remains to be seen. Interesting though.
  8. Good hard days of work ( at 63 they are very hard days ), and then WHAM Mother Nature takes over again !!!
  9. The long awaited post about Suction Dredging in California Simply put…….Dredging is coming back to California Spring of next year. Firstly, we know you are as skeptical as we are, after all, we’ve been told things over the past 9 years (like rulings from courts and such) which give us hope, but it always ended up being the same BS, delays, denials and shutdowns The small mining community donated millions to go to court, Brandon Rinehart was dragged through many court battles and that too we all donated to. All to no avail. The politicians and courts didn’t give us much to trust in their words. , they stabbed us in the back every single time. It was all pure politics and science was ignored. Then AMRA introduced SB1222 and things busted wide open. We first of all want to thank Senator Stone and our small mining community for showing up, making calls, sending letters and getting the heck off their butts and being heard, it made the difference. To quote one of the Senators, they didn’t see that support coming. But most of all, our AMRA staff. History and stuff: California passed a law (signed by Brown in Jan 2016), SB637 and because of that and their right to “reasonable regulation” in the state, we must abide by it until things can either be reversed, or changed at the federal level. Some believe the state cannot regulate suction dredging and we agree to some degree here at AMRA, but what would happen if you dredged right now without the permit mandated by SB637? You’d have your equipment confiscated, you’d be fined and you’d be dragged through the California court system and found guilty based on the current language. As a part of SB637 (The Suction Dredge Bill) signed into law in January of 2016, it was mandated that the California Water Board (CAWB) study and evaluate whether permitting should be allowed in the state, and if so, the CAWB was tasked with creating a permitting structure. We believe the sponsors of SB637, Izzy Martin and the enviro group The Sierra Fund, along with their Senator who brought the bill forward, Ben Allen, a Democrat from Hollywood believed the CAWB would toe the political line and just slow walk, or deny permits all along. SB637 morphed into a defacto prohibition on mining as it then labeled all things as suction dredges. High bankers, water pumps, track wheel chairs, trucks and even sluice boxes. People were cited, their equipment confiscated and fines were paid. We pointed out that this morphing of language was illegal, immoral and adversely affected 10’s of thousands of people. Kind of hard to say an airplane is a wheelbarrow just because both have wheels and that is precisely what the vague language in SB637 did. They stated “you can still pan”. As we pointed out in testimony at the Senate hearing on SB1222, panning is not, nor has it ever been a mining method. It is a final process, but not a mining method. Therefore, since that was really all they left us with, we made that argument, which was quite compelling that this is a ban and an illegal prohibition on small scale mining. So the CAWB didn’t toe the political line as some expected. What happened is the folks at the CAWB who are scientists and engineers pulled the raw data of all the studies over the past 20 years which were provided to them by WMA (Western Mining Alliance) and decided to see if dredging was in fact harming fish or fish habitat. What they concluded was dredging was deminimus, meaning it doesn’t harm fish or fish habitat. Their Board of Directors voted unanimously it is deminimus (no harm). We attended and presented (on your behalf) at every one of the public hearings with the CAWB when the permitting was being discussed and we produced a pretty compelling video of the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) actively suction dredging in other states to “create fish habitat”. Let that sink in for a minute….other states are dredging to “create” fish habitat. How is it that other states dredge to create fish habitat, but California thinks it kills fish? Well, it is because this is all political and not scientific (like you guys didn’t know that…). So what happened is they didn’t take Craig’s word for what the outcome was on all these studies, they pulled the raw data and then over the next year, AMRA worked with them on a permitting structure and we did this quietly and behind the scenes. If you recall, the DFG created a nightmare proposal on dredging, the one we recommended was nothing like that. It was one that didn’t involve keeping a diary, waiting a year for a permit or costing 5 grand to run a 4” dredge while being limited to a small 20 foot area in a creek they chose. CAWB listened and while ultimately it was their decision on what permitting structure to go with, it is nothing like we feared. Over the past week we have been in meetings, had calls and emails too numerous to list asking questions we know you’d be asking because hell, they are what we would want to know as we are miners through and through like many of you. Most questions we can answer now, some we cannot answer until late June when we have some formal meetings with the Director of the CAWB and a few Senators, but we are in fact going to be dredging next spring. It will be nearly impossible for the CAWB to pull back this acknowledgment that dredging WILL be permitted next year. AMRA will be discussing this live all weekend at out outing near Groveland CA, it's open to the public and it's free. We will also be covering this in detail at our annual dinner in Chino CA June 2nd, see our website for details or the post below for the outing directions and times. So, here’s the nuts and bolts: Firstly, almost all of the equipment wrapped up in the vague language of SB637 is being reversed and will once again be legal and not considered a suction dredge. High bankers are one piece of equipment we are still actively discussing and may involve a permit of some kind if run in the creek. We believe strongly since this is incidental fallback, like a dredge, it adds nothing and does not cause any adverse impacts on California waterways. Science should prevail, not emotion or how someone feels it might, may, could or potentially impact a waterway. Facts and science. Permitting applications will be available in early Spring and we are shooting for the very first day of Spring which is March 20, 2019. Why does it take this long, well this whole process was in fact ready to go last summer and the permitting structure was created, written and was ready for public comment, then the Director of the Water Board was replaced. The new Director, appointed by Governor Brown stopped all progress on the permits. SB637 had a mandate of 1 year for the CAWB to come up with a plan and they are now at 2 years, 4 months and 16 days. That is not just unacceptable, it is in violation of the law and we made sure they knew that. What remains now in the process is the public comment period where they tell the public what they plan to do and ask for comments. We expect you all to provide input. Cost: It is not going to be $2000 like someone posted on FB, that is incorrect. The permit costs we expect to be around $200 or close to it. They have a calculation where the permit structure needs to be 110% of the cost to do the permits so it shouldn’t be that much. It will be an on-line application process meaning you go to a specific link at the CAWB and fill it out on your computer. It should take no more than 3 or 4 weeks for the permit, but we are going to see if this can be sped up like the Ag permits farmers obtain routinely and rapidly. The permits are good perpetually, meaning that you pay for the permit in 2019, then if you want to dredge next year, you do not have to re-apply, just pay the fee and go dredge. I dredge multiple rivers, do I need a permit for each waterway? No, one permit for the whole state. Do studies have to be done for the creek I want to dredge? No. There will be no site specific studies required for any permits. Will I need to get a DFG permit like we did in 2009 in addition to the CAWB permit? No. Department of Fish and Game, who is currently required to obtain a permit from……….will be eliminated. No permits will be required from DFG for suction dredging. Who enforces this? DFG will be the enforcement arm and will be the agency tasked with checking for permits like we all remember….although in decades of dredging with a permit, I never once got checked. Do we have to keep silly diaries and all the other documentation like what was proposed before? No. There are no after season, nor continual season reporting requirements like DFG proposed in 2012 like keeping a diary and all that nonsense. There are a few things still unanswered like: Are there restrictions on sizes of dredges and motors. We believe dredging will be handled like it was prior to the moratorium in 2009, but do need this in writing before making a statement. What specific rivers/waterways will have a season, although it appears as it is exactly like it was in 2009. No dredging during spawning season (which we support). The exact cost, although we believe it will be a few hundred dollars at most, not the $2,000 circulating on the internet. We also do not know the specific regulations to a fine detail. However the CAWB has specifically stated they would like AMRA (Shannon Poe) to help them with the language and make sure the language does not encompass other equipment like the vague SB637. So as you can see, this is monumental. We are going to obtain this in writing shortly and you have our sincere promise that we will be working with them daily if necessary. They have made these statements in front of two sitting California Senators. It would be close to impossible for them to back out of this without some severe exposure to a lawsuit….and bring one we would on your behalf. We know you’ll have questions, and if we can answer them, we will, if we cannot, we will get them. Mr. Shannon Poe President, AMRA Fighting for your right to mine
  10. I bought a new dredge last fall and I'm fixing it up for cold weather dredging. Added drain plugs, TinyTac, new matting float plugs, some paint and hot water. Now I'm working on the hoses. I am going to add CamLoc fittings for the pump intake and pressure sides. My question is what to do with the jetlog inductor ports????? Anyone have an idea that worked well for them?
  11. Anybody got ideas for moving rocks/cobbles out of dredge/highbanker holes besides tossing them out by hand? I suffered severe lower back pain/hemorrhoids from doing this a month ago, and the hole was only 18 inches deep and 3 feet across. Is it possible to rig up a cheap tripod or something with rope and bucket attached to move the rocks off to the side of the hole, but how to dump the bucket? I like gold highbanking and dredging but lower back strains are no fun.And for some reason, rocks seem lighter underwater vs out of the water, why? I assume the backstrain happens when I am leaning over the hole at a sharp angle ,then tossing rocks out of said hole. Why does my lower back not like this? Of course being 60 years old and not in the best of shape probably doesn't help either...are there exercises I can do that might help too? -Tom V.
  12. Tom, I'd like to see some pictures of gold from Indiana. If you can narrate it a bit for us that would be great👍
  13. I was feeling sickly all year, still am, but winter will be here soon, so....I put in for a week off next week to play. I will be taking my homemade 2 inch suction nozzle dredge out for her maiden voyage in an Indiana creek. I need to know how to anchor the dredge so the creek doesn't take it when I let go of the hose? I will be dredging along an inside bend maybe 100 feet long x 25 feet out into the water and there are trees within 25 feet. This area was all 3-5 feet deep to visible bedrock a month ago. Now its all filled in with small gravels, no bedrock in sight. I happen to know the area upstream is gold bearing gravels so am hopeful this will be easy to dredge with few jams and gold to boot. The water is barely ankle to knee deep now. How long does it take for gold to settle down thru the gravels to bedrock after a flood, days, weeks, months, years? How do I find the paystreak? I do have a waterproof Garrett AT Pro, dunno if that's a waste of time or not? Do I just get to dredging a hole or is there a method to use? I don't want to dredge , then end up re-dredging my tailings. Just long arm dredging here, no air. I do have a plastic pipe I could attach to the nozzle to get down 3-4 feet. -Tom
  14. Published on Aug 15, 2017 - In this video we work on finding a promising area to set up the gold dredge and then get it up and running. We work it for a day. In the end, I pan out my concentrates, but did not capture the final pans. But I think it's an interesting video and I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I did making it.
  15. I know, this has already been gone over but im looking for the most flexible not the toughest like most people want. Hello I'm looking for 6" suction hose. I have a proline 6" dredge and the hose I have is tough which means stiff. I'm trying to find the most flexible suction hose with matching ribs on the out side that is compatible with proline thing that threads on the outside of hose. I would like to add a 10' very flexible section. And sometimes use just the 10' for tight spots maybe even get 15'. Thanks in advance.
  16. This is an interesting dredge. I was really into subsurface dredges for portability. Keene for a brief time sold a set of inflatable pontoons, so I got a pair and in 1999 put this 5" subsurface dredge together. The frame was homemade out of stock aluminum, and the pontoons were held in place with plastic drums I split in half length-wise. The tube was a standard Keene 5" subsurface dredge tube of the time. The old black marlex version was a pain because the tray clipped on at the forward end. I had to reach into the middle of the assembly to release the clips, and then the tray would drop down in front. In current this was a problem for sure as the current would want to grab the tray and knock it down. The later granite gray marlex tubes were improved with the release clips at the rear, which were easy to grab from the back of the dredge. The rear of the tray would drop down and was easily slid out to the rear. Much better. 5.5HP Honda powered Keene P-180 pump with 5" suction nozzle. Nice dredge, very compact and light-weight. This was on the Mills Creek Cooperative claims on upper Mills Creek on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. We got a lot of nice gold in the stretch in the picture as a narrow canyon widened out at this point. Bob(AK) is a member of the forum, and he also did very well here. Another couple photos of the dredge taken with the crappy digital cameras of the day while being built in my back yard.
  17. Late to the thread I am, GB_A.. Before I dive in though, and/or to what extent, I need to know a couple of things -- welll, one for sure: Have you already committed to yourself about going after Indiana gold, or are you in the investigative stage still trying to determine if doing so is worth your time, effort and additional monitary investment..? While there is Au in Indiana, due to its typical sizing along with most of your bedrock's type/nature, the gold there isn't the easiest to recover.. Ergo, if you're wanting to do some placer-type recovery while starting from scratch equipment-wise it's fairly easy to drop a couple - few hundred and still not even have all the unpowered basics much less any situation-specific specialty harvesting tools/aids.. As long as those early $$s have been figured into the start-up budget, there is no problem.. Some people get taken by surprise though.. I don't figure you as one to get caught out like that.. But you are talking classifiers, which tend to be leading.. So yeah, I am curious as to where your head is with this possible addition... Swamp
  18. Ok so I live in tuolumne ca and i got a proline 6" dredge on order and will be picking it up in a few weeks. And I can't decide where to go? Looking for guidance on good out of state spots. I used to kill it arround here begore it went illegal. Not to say i ever stoped but im sick of sneaking arround! I have unfinished holes that are right off the side of the road, good half ounce a day holes! That I had to walk away from after having law enforcement chase us out. Used to be my only income. Really screwed me!!!! Any way I could botch about it all day.lol. I have some hard to get spot arround here I might go for but would like to take some vacations to somewhere legal
  19. I'm looking at buying a custom dredge, it has a honda 9hp with a Keene 3x4 450gpm pump coupled to a tri haul jet. My question is that it seems under powered? but I have never seen or heard of a tri haul jet. The claims are that it is equivalent to a typical 6 dredge with 16hp and a normal jet set up. Please help .
  20. I am inspired to write this post by sjmpainter and his recent dredging expedition. It looks like so much fun. The intent is to share dredging tips, practices and modifications. Currently I am going through my equipment in preparation to move back to Alaska this summer. So I will start with business end. I put an extension on all dredge nozzles to give leverage to maneuver. I have seen many variations but all of them that I have built are made from aerators because I liked the shape. One of these is on a 6" and the other is on a 4". When I first decided to do this it was because I was mining in an open cut where all the work is done by feel standing up. I used to take them off for river dredging but now I leave them on all of the time.
  21. This one sure brings back nice memories! My old Keene 5" dredge parked on lower Stetson Creek on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska in 1979. The first of many years dredging on this creek and on Cooper Creek, which Stetson feeds into. This was one of my more pleasant summers of dredging. The weather was nice, the water was low, the gold was good. This location was giving up about an ounce a day, better than the average on Stetson Creek. Mainly because of plentiful shallow bedrock. The gold is almost all on bedrock in Stetson Creek with little or nothing in the overburden. The more overburden you process, the less gold you get overall as a rule. This is because Stetson Creek is a classic gulch deposit, a very steep creek with waterfall after waterfall. Mother nature's giant sluice box, and the gold has been well settled and concentrated. The paystreaks were small and very well defined, move over just a foot and it was like crossing a line, you were in the gold and now you are out. There were large stretches of creek with smooth bedrock and so little gold you would think there was none in the creek if you got into one of those sections. The gold was nice - lots of jewelry gold buy nothing really big. The two pennyweight nugget in the photo was about as large as I ever found in years of mining, though the records report a three ounce nugget having been found on the creek. Must of been a fluke from what I saw, if it even happened at all.
  22. A friend gave me this little backpack dredge. It came with a nifty little "Couple Jet" nozzle made by Gold Divers, Inc., formerly of Mound House, NV, but now out of business and retired. The dredge didn't come with an engine or pump and I'm trying to figure out what would be the best pump/engine to get for it. I understand, but not for sure, that the Couple Jet or Infinity type of nozzles work best with a higher volume lower pressure pump, as opposed to suction or jet nozzles that work best with higher pressure and somewhat lower flow. I checked with the guys who now make the Packrat 2 dredge and they didn't recognize this dredge. The overall dimensions are about 2 feet by 3 feet, the bottom is completely flat and not pontoon shaped like the Packrat dredges. Possibly Gold Divers made a backpack dredge and it's one of theirs? Sure appreciate any comments or suggestions for a pump or a picture of a complete dredge from this unknown manufacturer. Since I got the dredge for free I can afford to spend some money improving it and also on a good pump. Thank you, Bob