Alaska Dredging Trip Help


Aug 23, 2012
hope mills NC
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Hi everyone,
I'm stepping a bit out of my confort zone here and trying something new. I'm trying to plan a trip to Alaska and doing some gold dredging. I have dredged in the lower 48 but never been to Alaska. looking for some help on were to go to dredge, if anyone has a line on equipment that can be leased and if they know anyone that has a claim to lease. I'm also trying to get some info on unique chalenges that might face a dredger in Alaska that my not be faced down here in the lower 48. I'm also looking for information on weather it would be better to try and dredge in the off shore area or go inland and work a stream. Any help that you can give will be great.
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Jr. Member
Nov 21, 2013
Nome, AK
Detector(s) used
My Eyes
Primary Interest:
I don't know what Nome will be like next year, but this past spring there was not the normal stream of people walking around looking for work on an offshore dredge like there has been the past several years. Several 10" operations had trouble getting full crews, and had to dig pretty low to just get someone, or had to cut back on production hours.

I don't know if this was due to the low gold prices, or the poor gold production, or the economy being better closer to their homes. I would guess that earning $10k to $20k working hard 12-hour days for 5 months, minus $5k for living and travel expenses, does not make a lot of sense to people if they can find a $12/hr summer job in their hometown.

So seeking out current or former crew members (or the owners) from these 10" dredges, to get them to vouch for you is a possibility.

What you don't want to do is work as part of a green or newbie crew on a new 6" or 8" offshore dredge. Those folks almost never make any money, typically lose a bunch instead. Even teaming up with an established small dredge is not normally a profitable plan. Although it is more hit and miss.

The main question to ask yourself: "If this is such a great deal, how come the last people quit?" And most importantly: "Can I afford to not make any money this summer while having a great adventure?" Also, never go off to work for an operation until you get a feel for their reputation. Also, it's always a good plan to get their APMA permit number and check with the Fairbanks DNR office to see if it's valid and in good standing.

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