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Thread: Gold Panning in Michigan UP

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  1. #1
    Jan 2015
    NW Indiana

    Gold Panning in Michigan UP

    Hello All,

    Let me begin by saying that this is an interesting site, I'm glad to have found it. As a newby, I searched but couldn't find the info I'm looking for...so please redirect me if it's already here and I've just missed it.

    I'm planning to vacation in Marquette County in the Michigan UP near Ishpeming this summer and thought I'd try gold panning while I'm there. I have a little, actually very little, experience with panning for gold and I know that there isn't as much gold to be found in Michigan as there is out west. That's ok, I'm still learning and it's fun.

    The problems I keep running into are location, location and location. I've been searching the web and learned that the DNR only allows panning on streams that are not protected trout streams. I also found a DNR map of the trout streams and almost every stream in the UP appears to be protected. I don't want a fine or a visit to the klink, so where are folks panning in this area? I'm not asking anyone to give up their "sweet spot", but just some general info/suggestions/help. Do the DNR actively patrol like they do back home in Indiana? How do you pan for gold in this area if nearly every stream is protected? Am I looking in the wrong place?

    I appreciate any feedback...thanks!

  2. #2

    May 2005
    St. Louis, missouri
    4377 times
    since your in Indiana and wanting togo to mich. id say join a local Mi. club and utilize their knowledge.
    GoldpannerDave likes this.

  3. #3
    Author of a book about finding gold in Colorado

    Jan 2012
    Summit County, Colorado
    Grizzly Goldtrap Explorer & Motherlode, Gold Cube with Banker on top, Bazooka Goldtrap sluices, Angus Mackirk Expedition, Gold-n-Sand Xtream Hand pump
    10423 times
    The black sands sometimes visible on the beaches of Lake Superior are often gold bearing. That's what the Gold Cube was invented to capture! I know Mike Pung and Red Wilcox (gold cube inventors) ...and heard about their prospecting up there just last summer. Pretty cool!

  4. #4

    Apr 2014
    Tartarus Dorsa mountains
    820 times
    Stayin' alive :D
    There is a lot of mineral all around that big pond. You would think someone would look at the lake bottom topography in relation to prior glacial movements from known source areas and do some dredging in the right spots.

  5. #5

    Mar 2007
    7 times
    Hello James, I am also interested in prospecting in the Marquette area. Before you go, read about Silver Jack Driscoll. He paid for his supplies with Michigan gold and silver nuggets that he found in the Yellow Dog River. The Yellow Dog runs from the Ottawa National Forest to Independance Lake. I plan on prospecting around Independance Lake where the Yellow Dog enters the lake. Looks like several rivers dump into Independance from the south. This area is the Escanaba River State Forest. I just emailed them and asked if I could prospect in this area. Good Luck and let us know what you find. I'd like to see some Michigan silver nuggets. JOHN

  6. #6
    too many hobbies...

    Jul 2009
    Battle Creek, Mi
    Mine lab, Garrett, Bounty Hunter,
    343 times
    lots of black sand in the UP

  7. #7
    Jan 2015
    NW Indiana
    Thanks for everyone's advice. I did read up on Silver Jack and might put the Yellow Dog River on the list...if I can get to that neck of the woods. I'm also looking for more about the gold bearing areas on the shores of Lake Superior in that area. Thanks for the suggestion, I'd appreciate any additional input on that one.

    I've even called the DNR office in Ishpeming and asked them where to pan. The guy I spoke with didn't know much about it but said that in the last couple years he's had this question come up a couple times and he recommends the Peshekee River. I've since checked the map of protected trout streams, and it's the only large river not on the list, so that's probably why he picked that area. Surprisingly it looks as though all of the streams that feed the Peshekee are unprotected as well, so there must be something unique about that watershed area. Anyone have any ideas/opinion/experience on the Peshekee River?

  8. #8
    May 2014
    Sweep Jig, Whippet Dry Washer, Lobo ST, 1/2 width 2 tray Gold Cube, numerous pans, rocker box, and /home made fluid bed and stream sluices.
    2813 times
    An old friend of mine grew up near one of the copper mines in the UP and said he panned gold in some of the streams in the area. Sorry I can't recall the area but it think it may be around Houghton. Found this publication from MSU that may help. Gold

    Good luck.
    If it can't be grown, it must be mined!

  9. #9
    Jan 2015
    NW Indiana
    Anyone know anything about the Peshekee River area

  10. #10
    Mar 2015
    Marquette, MI
    Garrett AT Gold, Pro-Pointer AT, Pro-Pointer
    6 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Hi OldFaithful, I know this thread isn't brand new but I came across it reading and figured I'd help you out. Don't waste your time going to the Peshekee, I mean it's a nice area, but not for panning, I would stick with 49erjohn's advice and check out the Yellowdog, but I'd also add in, not by Lake Independence, if you want any hope you'd better get a lot further back than that. You could also check out some other streams in that area, the DNR maps for trout streams only list the big ones, there's a million other streams that you can pan on...try some smaller ones, little garlic, nash creek, big pup, etc., pretty much anything in that vicinity. Also, it might seem like a long way from Ishpeming, but its really not, PM me if you need directions..And lastly, as far as beach black sand, while that would probably be fun, most shoreline is either state owned natural area (not allowed), or private, so I'm not quite sure where you'd go for that, I haven't found a place, but I haven't looked real hard either.
    Hope this helps, bring your bug spray

  11. #11

    Mar 2008
    New Lenox, Il
    Explorer II with 10x12 SEF
    10 times
    Old Faithful,
    PM me and i can send you a location of an old hard rock mine that's filled in.
    The area is littered with quartz that is hand dug from the shaft and although you probably wont find any gold, its cool to look at.
    Below is a picture of mineralized vein at the base of the mountain i took last time I was there.

    maktonName:  vein5.jpg
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    Last edited by makton; Mar 31, 2015 at 04:01 PM.

  12. #12
    Mar 2015
    Marquette, MI
    Garrett AT Gold, Pro-Pointer AT, Pro-Pointer
    6 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Hi Makton, if you don't mind sharing I'd love to have that location also, even just a name of the mine/prospect, I have (I believe) all the mines around here marked on my topo maps... from your description it sounds like a place I've been too, but I'm always up for going to new places, even if its just got cool quartz

  13. #13
    Feb 2019
    Marquette Michigan
    5 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I do alot of panning in the Marquette area. There is some good gold but your going to work for it..lol



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