Washington beach mining-

arizau

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I heard that beach mining is as much as outlawed now at Benson Beach. I've looked through the wdfw pamphlet and must have overlooked the rules that seemingly are now in effect to stop beach high banking. Just what are the rules now?

Thanks
 
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standard8

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3 . Except as noted below you may use only non-motorized hand-held mineral prospecting tools and the following non-motorized mineral prospecting equipment:(a)Pans;( b)Sluices, non-motorized concentrators, rocker boxes, and high-bankers with riffle areas totaling ten square feet or less, including ganged equipment;

4 . When operated in fish-bearing freshwater streams, the widest point of a sluice, including attachments, must not exceed 25 percent of the width of the wetted perimeter at the point of placement Water may be supplied to a non-motorized high-banker or non-motorized concentrator only from natural stream flow or from hand-held buckets or concentrators and may not be supplied through a gravity siphon
 
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arizau

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3 . Except as noted below you may use only non-motorized hand-held mineral prospecting tools and the following non-motorized mineral prospecting equipment:(a)Pans;( b)Sluices, non-motorized concentrators, rocker boxes, and high-bankers with riffle areas totaling ten square feet or less, including ganged equipment;

4 . When operated in fish-bearing freshwater streams, the widest point of a sluice, including attachments, must not exceed 25 percent of the width of the wetted perimeter at the point of placement Water may be supplied to a non-motorized high-banker or non-motorized concentrator only from natural stream flow or from hand-held buckets or concentrators and may not be supplied through a gravity siphon

Got it...that really sucks.
Is there a limit on removing sand from the beach to process remotely?
 

Ohiogoldfever

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A friend of mine is a police officer. He assured me it’s only illegal if you get caught.

Seems to me when they go out of their way to make everything in life outside of the law simple civil disobedience is in order.

Sure hope you west coast folks can get things straightened out. It’s going to be illegal to breath without paying carbon tax over there before long.
 

et1955

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My experience beach mining at Cape Disappointment state park was great and in fact it was the authorities that run the park that encouraged the state to allow beach mining there. How much black sand can you carry out is only up to you, a 5gal bucket full of black sand is extremely heavy and I know from doing it. If you have questions call the WDFW. Secrete shared with me, dig down threw the sand until you hit a layer of blue black layer, it will be so much richer than what is on top of the beach and it is so very interesting to walk on a beach that is mostly black sand. Good Luck
 
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arizau

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Yeah, that black beach sand is incredibly heavy. As to removing sand...in the past I've seen campers using a gold cube in their campsites there and locals taking some home to process. It would be a real shame if campers and locals cannot still do that.
 

Gold4Mike

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I haven't beach mined down on the coast so someone who has can correct me if needed. In 2020 WA banned the use of motorized equipment, primarily aimed at dredgers, but affecting high bankers as well. But due to wording in the fish and gold rules they left a loophole that could be interpreted as still allowing battery powered pumps. This year they changed some wording and have now specifically banned the use of battery pumps as well. Out on the coast you can't use a river sluice so some sort of pump and recirculating system is needed, so the ban on battery pumps would make it really difficult to run enough sand. There also may be some weird rule that the water you take out of the ocean to run your sand with cannot be added back into the ocean. Or dumped on the ground. Because it's polluting. :icon_scratch:
Also in regards to taking sand off the beach, I believe there is a limit of 10 gallons of "concentrates" that you can take with you, but not just 10 gallons of sand you dig up. Since it seems tough to concentrate with the newest rules, I'm not sure where that leaves beach mining. I believe like the stream placer miners they could apply for a hydraulic permit that will never get issued. Again someone correct me if I'm wrong here. I followed the beach mining because I thought eventually it would be fun to try out, but now it seems unlikely.
 

et1955

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So far electric highbankers are still legal if you have WD Fish and Gold book on an approved state park site, where the fresh water rules kick in is where fresh water stream runs into the ocean. 10 gals. seems to be the rule yet I can't find that specified in the WDFW gold book, problem is guys digging up sand to sell on ebay. Mike if you have questions call the Cape Disappointment State park, they will help you. Here is a pic from time mining there 101_0251.JPG
 

Gold4Mike

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So far electric highbankers are still legal if you have WD Fish and Gold book on an approved state park site, where the fresh water rules kick in is where fresh water stream runs into the ocean. 10 gals. seems to be the rule yet I can't find that specified in the WDFW gold book, problem is guys digging up sand to sell on ebay. Mike if you have questions call the Cape Disappointment State park, they will help you. Here is a pic from time mining there View attachment 1934145

No I don't have any questions for Cape D, just responding to the OP. If battery pumps are still allowed on the beach, then all of the people posting on social media should probably read the rules better because that seems to be the general consensus now. That and having to take all of their recirculated water home with them. I do well enough in my favorite river to not have to drive all the way down to Cape D!
 
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arizau

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Primary Interest:
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3 . Except as noted below you may use only non-motorized hand-held mineral prospecting tools and the following non-motorized mineral prospecting equipment:(a)Pans;( b)Sluices, non-motorized concentrators, rocker boxes, and high-bankers with riffle areas totaling ten square feet or less, including ganged equipment;

4 . When operated in fish-bearing freshwater streams, the widest point of a sluice, including attachments, must not exceed 25 percent of the width of the wetted perimeter at the point of placement Water may be supplied to a non-motorized high-banker or non-motorized concentrator only from natural stream flow or from hand-held buckets or concentrators and may not be supplied through a gravity siphon

The above rules were still on the pamphlet as of a couple days ago. After reading #3 several times it is, in my interpretation, poorly written and confusing at best as to whether all motors are now prohibited on the beaches. It's mind boggling comparing social media posts vs. newspaper articles etc. I guess I need some final confirmation before I go up there again.... beach mining there was an obsession for me for several years before the pandemic.
 
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standard8

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A new Gold and Fish rule book was published in May 2021.

Please note that this pamphlet does NOT authorize the use of any motorized or gravity siphon equipment or methods (including, but not restricted to, suction dredges, dryland dredges, gravity dredges, power sluice/suction dredge combinations, motorized highbankers or power sluices, spiral wheels, and vac- pacs) in any waters of the state.You may apply for a written HPA for approval to use motorized or gravity siphon aquatic mining methods in waters of the state where it is not prohibited under RCW 90.48.615. To do so, you must submit an application to WDFW as described above after obtaining either a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit from Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) or a written notice from Ecology declaring that an NPDES permit is not required. Contact Ecology?s Water Quality Program for information about NPDES permits and the locations where the use of motorized or gravity siphon equipment may be allowed. Ecology also provides information at: https://ecology.wa.gov/Regulations-...cations/Mineral-prospecting-and-placer-mining.

This map shows areas of possible motorized mining in red. The only spot that might hold gold is the coast.
Dont forget your npdes permit

https://waecy.maps.arcgis.com/apps/View/index.html?appid=36f9b4cf01724c55b4b795de2d7d1615

And here is a map of Eastern Washington Basalt flows.

https://www.researchgate.net/profil...t-GRB-and-location-of-Grande-Ronde-Basalt.png
 
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et1955

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So sad another end to a type of mining, but the good news you can still mine using a pan and sluice, how long that will last I don't know, you all know that they will blame us no matter what for there mismanagement of our rivers.
 

Gold4Mike

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Arizau, back to your original question the new gold and fish pamphlet for 2021 says this for ocean beach mining:

3. Except as noted below you may use only non-motorized
hand-held mineral prospecting tools and the following
non-motorized mineral prospecting equipment:
(a) Pans;
(b) Sluices, non-motorized concentrators, rocker boxes,
and high-bankers with riffle areas totaling ten
square feet or less, including ganged equipment;

For the 2021 pamphlet they specifically changed the definitions under hand held tools to now exclude electric equipment, which wasn't in last years pamplet.

Hand-held mineral prospecting tools ? Tools used for
mineral prospecting that are held by hand and do not
have moving parts powered, in whole or in part, by
internal combustion, electricity, hydraulics, or pneumatics.
Examples include, but are not necessarily limited to,
shovels, picks, trowels, hammers, and pry bars.

They just keep chipping away.
 
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arizau

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May 2, 2014
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AZ
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Beach High Banker, 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.
Primary Interest:
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Did some research and.....The story about the rules change is in the following two documents:
Seashore conservation area mining rule amendment -required action
WAC 220-660-300

What it boils down to is the changing of the beach mining equipment rules to the same as those in another regulation meant to protect certain endangered fish in a fresh water environment. The rules will do nothing to protect anything on the beach. Ironically, the amendment was stated to insure the enjoyment of the beach by ALL people. Another irony is that the document stated that there had been no problems of consequence since beach mining was first allowed in 2008 as a trial.
If beach miner special interest groups are not lobbying for a change back they should be IMO.
 
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Eatmydust2

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Jan 2, 2022
2
1
Arizau, back to your original question the new gold and fish pamphlet for 2021 says this for ocean beach mining:

3. Except as noted below you may use only non-motorized
hand-held mineral prospecting tools and the following
non-motorized mineral prospecting equipment:
(a) Pans;
(b) Sluices, non-motorized concentrators, rocker boxes,
and high-bankers with riffle areas totaling ten
square feet or less, including ganged equipment;

For the 2021 pamphlet they specifically changed the definitions under hand held tools to now exclude electric equipment, which wasn't in last years pamplet.

Hand-held mineral prospecting tools ? Tools used for
mineral prospecting that are held by hand and do not
have moving parts powered, in whole or in part, by
internal combustion, electricity, hydraulics, or pneumatics.
Examples include, but are not necessarily limited to,
shovels, picks, trowels, hammers, and pry bars.
8
They just keep chipping away.-

I heard that beach mining is as much as outlawed now at Benson Beach. I've looked through the wdfw pamphlet and must have overlooked the rules that seemingly are now in effect to stop beach high banking. Just what are the rules now?

Thanks
Question: WDFW gold Pamphlet says, you may use a high banker at beach... if you read the definition of a high banker and concentrator in pamphlet. page 8 and 9. it includes a pump and water supply.
Copied- High-banker – A stationary concentrator operated outside the wetted perimeter of the body of water from which the water is removed, using water supplied by hand or by pumping. A high-banker consists of a sluice box, hopper, and water supply. Aggregate is supplied to the high-banker by means other than suction dredging. Concentrator – A device used to physically or mechanically separate the valuable mineral content from aggregate.

Under beach section it says, Water may be supplied to a non-motorized high-banker or nonmotorized concentrator only from natural stream flow or from hand-held buckets or concentrators and may not be supplied through a gravity siphon.

I would think a motorized would be a generator or gas powered pump, not a battery pump. Are we really suppose to use a hand held bucket to drip and flow over riffles

Why are the Bigger Gold clubs and Associations, not asking WDFW for clarification in writing?
 

et1955

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The key here is fresh water fish berring streams running into the ocean, there wording and laws are based on fresh water streams with fish. You might have noticed that the don't say you can't run an electric highbanker on the beach but say you can't on fresh water streams. Look at the pic they show where and what types of permits you need to mine on the beach. It's sad these people creating these laws can't be clear on the laws.
 

Gold4Mike

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Question: WDFW gold Pamphlet says, you may use a high banker at beach... if you read the definition of a high banker and concentrator in pamphlet. page 8 and 9. it includes a pump and water supply.
Copied- High-banker – A stationary concentrator operated outside the wetted perimeter of the body of water from which the water is removed, using water supplied by hand or by pumping. A high-banker consists of a sluice box, hopper, and water supply. Aggregate is supplied to the high-banker by means other than suction dredging. Concentrator – A device used to physically or mechanically separate the valuable mineral content from aggregate.

Under beach section it says, Water may be supplied to a non-motorized high-banker or nonmotorized concentrator only from natural stream flow or from hand-held buckets or concentrators and may not be supplied through a gravity siphon.

I would think a motorized would be a generator or gas powered pump, not a battery pump. Are we really suppose to use a hand held bucket to drip and flow over riffles

Why are the Bigger Gold clubs and Associations, not asking WDFW for clarification in writing?
Good questions, I can't answer because I don't run out on the coastal beaches. I'm sure there are some that do and can try to explain their interpretation of the newest rules. Asking WDFW for clarification? I've heard from many who have tried and they get the runaround. Best thing to do is use your own common sense and make your own decisions. WDFW certainly won't give any written or verbal interpretations. What is written is written. And it is written by idiots.
 

et1955

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The WDFW is funded by fishing licensing fee's only, so if the fishermen complains about a dredger or miner they listen. Back in late 1990's the reacted with extreme shutdown on mining in this state, panning only, no sluices or other type of mining on the rivers and they said you could not step in the river. Fisherman were allowed to walk in the river and then other groups started to complain and in time they changed the rule's . Now I am a fisherman too but there is no fish left in the rivers, 6 years ago I could catch steelhead, rainbow trout but no longer and I know how to get into very hard access areas and there is nothing, it easier to find gold now than to catch a fish. Maybe it is the fisherman depleting the fish, ?
 

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