(WA state) I have a dream! ...but are the hoops worth it?


Apr 28, 2016
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
I'm trying to do research on the Laws in Washington state for where you can run a mechanized dredge...but it is very convoluted. Currently not working and would love to have something fun that rewards you immediately for your hard work and good planning. Gold dredging seems to fit the bill perfectly...and quite frankly I'm certain the price of gold will go up phenomenally in the next couple years.

I've read through the pamphlet but in regards to the Plans of Intent... running a dredge somewhere in the Gifford Pinchot for example. They would require a notice of intent since it is Forest Service land. Like to dredge something between the size of a small creek and a waist deep stream/river.

To sum it up: Do they actually GIVE you permission to use a mechanized dredge in Washington? Outside of existing mining claims? How specific do Plans of Intent need to be? Is there a place with productive placer mining claims in the state that are for sale/rent/public?

I live in an RV and dream of traveling around the state/country just mining for gold and generally living off the land. It would be wonderful if anyone has some answers!


Hero Member
Feb 11, 2015
Moses Lake WA & Provo UT
Primary Interest:
In WA if you want to dredge there is a season described in the tables of the Fish&Gold Pamphlet for each waterway. Some you can use a 4" some a 5", the season is usually only 2 weeks to a month but HPAs can be applied for to dredge out of season, not sure how successful people usually are getting those permitted though. I don't believe you need a NOI if you follow the Gold&Fish on NF lands. And if you have an RV and are travelling anyway I'd say get out of WA, there are places but not a ton here. The Similkameen River is probably a good bet for dredging, plenty of people do it up there and there are withdrawn lands that are not claimed.
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Silver Member
Feb 28, 2013
Golden Valley Arid-Zona
Detector(s) used
Fisher / Gold Bug AND the MK-VII eyeballs
Primary Interest:
If you can avoid a NOI do so. A Plan of operation (POO) even more so! Once you go that route you've created a contract that the powers can be will hold you to. I will say that if you submit either one you're drawing attention to yourself and your operation. If you submit them and you haven't heard back within a specified time (I think it's 90 days) it's considered as approved by law.

You make no mention of what your level of experience is so I've got to also say that you need to learn to walk before you can run. Like Winners said.... Join a club and learn the ropes! All forms of mining have their ins and outs as well as their inherant dangers that you're going to have to learn before you strike out on your own.


Staff member
Jul 27, 2006
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Minelab_Equinox_ 800 Minelab_CTX-3030 Minelab_Excal_1000 Minelab_Sovereign_GT Minelab_Safari Minelab_ETrac Whites_Beach_Hunter_ID Fisher_1235_X
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting

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