FLOOD GOLD, SKYKOMISH RIVER, WA
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Thread: FLOOD GOLD, SKYKOMISH RIVER, WA

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  1. #1
    us
    Aug 2014
    New Smyrna Beach, FL
    Minelab Xtera 70
    103
    136 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    FLOOD GOLD, SKYKOMISH RIVER, WA

    The Skykomish river roars out of the Cascade range in western Washington through a historic mineralized area and empties softly into Puget Sound at Everett Washington. Rich, well documented, tributaries add to the gold content in the river. I will be speaking about the river roughly 20 miles East and West of Gold Bar, WA. I have no experience elsewhere.

    My experience here is very limited (vacations), but a couple of fine prospectors (you may know them as Magic Mike and Sluice Goose!), have taught me what little I know, which is:

    1. The Bazooka will get it!
    2. This is a natural river with seasonal floods from snow melt and then dropping water summer through winter.
    3. The gold available here to the panner/sluicer is consistently small and fine.
    4. Extensive Sampling shows almost NO gold in the stream waters or gravel/sand bars. It would be possible to pan all day behind boulders, in the cobbles, bridge abutments, - all the places shallow and deep normally explored - inside and outside bends, without a color. I know...... this.
    5. YET! Should you find access to a suitable inside bend and work the rocks and gravels up-bank in the flood zone, especially in the bushes and briars, you will find gold and sometimes lots of it (relatively speaking).

    Here is where I need help:

    1. From what I read here and elsewhere, small gold can be very typical of a particular river (Snake river).
    2. The small gold then, carried by he "bed load" should be fairly consistent through the seasons. Perhaps more during flood since the previous season gold is being added from the banks and tributaries. But "water volume" wise, maybe about the same - if it matters here.
    3. Now, the small gold will drop and deposit, along with any other part of the bed load/sediment of the same weight and/or weight-resistance to water flow (there is a word for that, Doc). Yes, the black sand is with the gold.
    4. This fine gold, of course, will only drop and when the combination of water velocity and bottom texture allows it to deposit.
    5. This of course, is why flood gold everywhere is found in the shallow/slow water. Classically a sand bar (which I have read can be skimmed).
    6. Here, on the Skykomish, this should explain why the flour gold is almost exclusively in the flood zone "bushes." The water velocity at flood stage on an inside bend near the banks is slowest, augmented by the interference and bottom texture of the vegetation to help the small gold to drop and deposit.
    7. But, as the river slowly falls, why - in the now slowest water in the gravels and cobbles - does the gold not drop and deposit?

    A. Surely, with the right filtering agent, one could capture the fine gold and its' weight/size equivalents, in the river at flood or low water stages.
    B. With this limited knowledge, where should one look for even better recovery? Places where the this small gold would accumulate season after season?
    C. What about downstream where the whole river slows.....in all seasons?
    What I would appreciate is additional conceptual thinking, as well as local knowledge from any local prospectors who are willing to chime in.

    All the best, Thurman
    Last edited by Thurman; Aug 23, 2016 at 01:45 PM.
    Hardent likes this.

  2. #2
    us
    Ed Tracy

    Jan 2015
    Shoreline,wa
    Equinox 800
    641
    1060 times
    Prospecting
    Sadly there is very little gold left on the Sky, recent floods have stripped the area, I taught Magic Mike and showed him the area, except for a few secret places I found many years ago and even they may have been stripped, some day I might go and check them out. But recent testing shows it is not worth it. I have been mining that river since 1995. Good luck and if you need more info I would be glad to help.
    Golden_Crab likes this.

  3. #3
    us
    Aug 2014
    New Smyrna Beach, FL
    Minelab Xtera 70
    103
    136 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by et1955 View Post
    Sadly there is very little gold left on the Sky, recent floods have stripped the area, I taught Magic Mike and showed him the area, except for a few secret places I found many years ago and even they may have been stripped, some day I might go and check them out. But recent testing shows it is not worth it. I have been mining that river since 1995. Good luck and if you need more info I would be glad to help.
    Thanks ET,

    Sad to hear about the flooding. Surely though, flooding will strip gold but it wouldn't it also add gold? All gold must drop sometime, somewhere. Maybe I should be looking at Steamboat and Eby Slough......way downstream. Or perhaps the flatter areas closer to Monroe - should access be found.

    I have a vague recollection of someone posting on TNet, an Everett native who prospects further down river.

    Magic Mike looks to you as the Skykomish Guru and expresses his appreciation for your valuable lessons.

    I plan on doing some sampling in the next few weeks and will keep you posted.

    Best regards
    Last edited by Thurman; Aug 23, 2016 at 02:01 PM.

  4. #4
    us
    Ed Tracy

    Jan 2015
    Shoreline,wa
    Equinox 800
    641
    1060 times
    Prospecting
    Hi Thurman, The gold on the Sky comes from the North fork of the Sky, specifically the Silver creek mining district. So unless there is major flooding and landslides on the N.F there is no replenishment. As for the gold that got stripped out, I have an idea where it went. Somewhere between Gold Bar and Sultan. The river runs fast from Index to Gold Bar but after that it starts to slow down and flattens out, find that spot and bring in a high banker you should do well. Access will be a problem, so much private property around there, I am still trying to find a way in, as a fisherman no problem but as a miner ?. If this helps last year I tested where the Sultan runs into the Sky, below the mouth of the Sultan the largest piece I found was a 1/16 of an inch and above the mouth the gold was really fine. Have Fun

  5. #5
    us
    Jul 2020
    Monroe
    2
    1 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Can anyone give me a location to help me getting some color in a pan for my daughter. Ive tried relentlessly so far and shes starting to lose interest. I live in Monroe so any where close by would work. Im not asking for a glory hole just some color for her.
    et1955 likes this.

  6. #6
    us
    Ed Tracy

    Jan 2015
    Shoreline,wa
    Equinox 800
    641
    1060 times
    Prospecting
    So funny Clance, I will be mining tomorrow on the the sky, it is simple anywhere down river of Index and upriver of Goldbar. Hint don't mine near the river but hit near the natural flood line. Also check the moss.
    Clay Diggins, arizau and Hardent like this.

  7. #7
    us
    Jul 2020
    Monroe
    2
    1 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Thank you so much. So around sultan is a waste of effort then? Higher I go.

  8. #8
    us
    Ed Tracy

    Jan 2015
    Shoreline,wa
    Equinox 800
    641
    1060 times
    Prospecting
    Clance you are right , I have found gold there but it is fly poop but hard to find. The Sultan is the richest river in Wa. but the gold is so course that it doesn't make it down to the Sky, if it did the land where it would deposit is private land. Just finished my analyses of this years floods on the Sky and what I saw and tested is not good. Major rocks move but huge deposits of sand covering known deposits. Wish you luck.

 

 

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