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Click to enlargeReading a River for Gold

How to Read a River for Gold Deposits

Rule #1: Let Mother Mature do the work for you whenever possible. Over thousands of years, rivers have meandered, flooded, and concentrated its heavier contents into what prospectors call "paystreaks".

Gold is heavy and it takes a lot of water and time to move it a significant distance from its source or resting place.

Tip: When the weather is bad and rain is pouring down, go out to your favorite gold bearing stream and watch the water action. Make notes on where the water runs fast and where it slows. Draw a simple map. Note obstacles like tree stumps, large boulders, or other obstructions in the path of the high water. Places where the river are slowed are the most likely places for gold to deposit. Why make a map? Simple, when the water recedes the landscape will look far different than in its high water or flood stage. That stump or large boulder in the normal path of the river that you figured would cause the gold to drop out may in fact not be any more worthy than any other spot. Why? The paystreaks or deposits may be hidden.

Remember, gold moves most during fast water events and during flood stages. That stump area up the hill a bit out of the water may actually contain far more gold than the one in the current path of the river.

Areas to focus on: Look for transition zones - areas where the water changes speed from fast to slow. The inside bend of rivers - the area just after and around a bend in a river or creek.

Locate those areas where the water slowed during a flood or high water time and prospect there. These are the likely drop out spots for gold and other potentially valuable heavy minerals and gem stones. Remember, sometimes the paystreak is not where you might expect. Let mother nature be your guide.


Test your panning with one of our gold concentrate bags. Loaded with gold it will allow you to practice at home before going out on the river. Great for hand panning practice too!





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Finding Gold in a River
Finding Gold in a River



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