Paydirt Home Locations Permit Map Equipment Permit Services Gold Price Old Forum Archive

Digging for gold in fast flowing streams/rivers


#1

Has anyone got some good techniques in retrieving fine gold from the bottom of fast flowing streams/rivers!!
Yes a 6 inch suction dredge would do it…lol… but I’m talking about if your just panning or hand sluicing.
I often get only small fine gold in flood gravels on the side of stream beds and most of my attempts to dig down in the main flow proves fruitless as by the time I bring my bucket or shovel to the surface the current has blown all the fines away.
Is there some sort of scoop with a lid or funnel shaped spade that holds onto the heavier gravels so they can be brought to the surface and into my bucket?
I know Keith suggested previously to stack larger rocks upstream into a funnel shape so’s to increase the flow over the hole your digging which in turn helps blow out the lighter material but how do you effectively extract out the gold from the bottom of the hole?
Any good tips would be greatly appreciated…Mal


#2

You could try to use a tarp or piece of tin to divert the flow away from where you are digging. There’s still the problem of dirt back filling your hole, but maybe a board or another piece of tin on the side that’s collapsing might help. Maybe drive it in to the ground with a hammer as you go.

I was having the same problem this weekend, but luckily the hole was shallow enough and I could get in with a small tub to scoop out the last gravels on the bedrock. Any plastic container with high sides should work to hold your gravels until you can lift them out.


#3

Thanks for the tip 49er,sounds like a good idea actually,some sort of screen you can temp peg in place,I have an array of scoops and buckets but might get a very high sided scoop made up out of Ali which I can place my hand over.
Thanks again…anyone else got any good ideas?


#4

I once saw a bloke who had welded light steel plates on the back and sides of his shovel. From memory the vertical plate at the back was 150mm high, the side plates were welded to this and tapered down toward the front of the shovel. It worked very well, judging by the amount of materiel he was running through his riffle box.


#5

I know it sounds so basic but I cut up a thick walled plastic bottle into a scoop with enough wall for rigidity, good handle as well
…it worked a treat.

The bottle is shaped like a 2L milk bottle, but thicker. I used a catering pack Tomato sauce bottle.


#6

Some good suggestions there guys…thanks for that,I think I will look at making up some different size and shaped scoops /shovels with high sides out of Ali as you’ve suggested so I can try to cover my hand over the front opening as I bring the gravels up to the surface,probably require some trail and error,will let you all know if I have any success.
Cheers Mal