Dredging the creeks

Recommended Posts

Hey all, do any of you dredge in the eastern us? I am looking for info on who to contact for permits or permission to play a little. Do you have to get permit to dredge everywhere, or does the land owner's permission count?

If I get a few days to do so, I'm looking to go into some areas that are very off the beaten path, and there aren't any people. Who do I contact to get ok'ed for any prospecting,dredging or high banking?

By the way, anyone looking for a partner to run the woods, just let me know. I'm always ready, and I got some equipment. Just need the right pointer,and ill dig the bottom out........eshawnjohnson2000@yahoo.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's probably tough, for lack of BLM and open federal land. and Counties are smaller. Your best bet would be to contact the county water authority or the state water authority, and ask them what their rules are on dredging. If they don't have a clue, perhaps go to the state fish and game dept. if they don't know, but want info, keep it short and to the point- as in Dredging actually stirs up the creek or river bottom, and has proven beneficial to fish and spawning grounds (google the quest), and you're not doing a huge commercial venture, just a short term, periodic hobby quest to prospect or find gems or relics.

Once you get cleared there, you'll likely need some sort of topo map, and county overlay map of the potential areas you want to try out. By going to the County Planning division's map room, you can find some information on parcel numbers relative to your quest, and using those parcel numbers, can find contact information about the current owner. Then you'll have to do your own bidding on the phone or in person, to get permission to dredge or prospect, or hunt for relics.

Initially, it's a lot of work, but you'll establish contacts. You could take it a step further and make up some sort of map of your own, along with guidance and rules, that you could sell to others; even with parcels that you control or have something worked out with the owner, could establish club spots and a use-fee structure of worth to both you and the property owner.

Out west, the majority of land is stewarded by the BLM, with only mining patents being overseen by the county, as those parcels are private land and not subject to federal oversight. The blm can show the interested party, through the use of a microfiche, what areas are claimed, who the claimnant is (contact info), and what parcels are mine patents. Area clubs can indicate which areas are open to all, open to just club members, or closed or monitored by private entities not willing to share.

One step further is to define mineral patent land, and check with the county assessor as to which properties are late on tax payments, putting such on an auction list or into trusteeship. 20 acres parcels, less to more (200+ acres) for the price of back taxes, and usable for any real estate purpose under area zoning codes. Gold mines, or any other type mines. once you own it, you don't have to mine it. you could rent or lease it out, or fill in the mine and build an RV park on it. 20 acres for the average price of $3500. some in the open desert, some within a national park. doesn't matter. it's your land and no longer under fed control.

Many western states, Nevada included, have county websites with assessor and delinquent properties listed online. HOWEVER, any watercourse running through the property may be regulated by local or state Fish and Game.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I was thinking of going into the Virginia, West Virginia mountains and doing some packing into the boonies. I am just getting started in prospecting, but I am an avid camper, fisherman, hiker, and woodsman, so the idea was to make the whole thing a (lol) "Deliverance" kind of trip, without the bad stuff of course.

I have been an avid fan and amateur participant in the treasure hunting culture for some years now, and there isn't much documentation on prospecting in the eastern United States. I would love to be the guy that changes that. I am friendly, and I want to put together something with more information on my back yard.

Any way, I am a dreamer with aspirations. Anyone want to go mountain prospecting?

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Virginia has great gold, not the Motherlode of California mind you, but West Virginia has little to no gold to speak of.

In Virginia you do not need a permit to dredge, up to 4" it must be made as a 4" and not modified to a 4", i.e. 4" flare/jet/hose and nozzle, this was made legal about 4 years ago, by prospectors petitioning the state, before that it was illegal to dredge in Virginia, anything bigger and you need a permit and jump through many hoops to get it and you still most likely be told "NO" or you will have to post a very large bond to get the permit, PLEASE abide by this as to not "ruffle" the State of Virginia's feathers, it was a long and draw out process to get this allowed.

There are 2 Prospecting Clubs in Virginia the CVGP (Central Virginia Gold Prospectors), and the NVGP (Northern Virginia Gold Prospectors), all of their leases are on private property, the gold belt in Virginia runs through the middle of the state running north and south, to far to the east and west and you will not find gold, the mountains of Virginia are to far west.

Most all of the gold in Virginia is on private property or State Land/Parks (no prospecting), the best advice I can give you is to join one of the clubs, or seek permission from private property owners, IMHO the best club is the CVGP, free to join, but if you want to prospect on any of the leases you will have to pay a land use fee, I think it is now $100 per year, the other club I don't know to much about other than if you join the CVGP they will not let you join the NVGP :blink: , it is not very clear as to why this is other than talk about one of the NVGP property owners that leases to the NVGP got into a argument with a member from the other club, and threatened to cancel the lease if any CVGP members were a member of the NVGP, I think it was a personal argument that didn't have anything to do with either club or prospecting.

Here is a link to a great forum that will give you plenty to read, and you will find more info there than I can possibly post here...VaGold Forum..


Also here is a link to the Virginia Dept of Mines, that shows where the Virginia Gold/Pyrite belt is located...


Here is a link to USGS' page that shows the Carolina slate belt that extends into southern Virginia...


Another link that shows the entire eastern gold belts...


If you need any more help just ask.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.