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Getting told off for digging in the river bed

So got told off by the police for digging on the shingle bank at a public fossicking spot the other week and was wondering if anyone had issues like this or could shed some light on the rules ,was well away from the river bank it was a new pile of shingle put up in the last flood ,i didn’t have the information in the photos at the time but any knowledge from you experts would be great
cheers Rosco

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Hi bro, what public fossicking area, and by shingle bank put up do you mean a manmade bank or just shingle that had flooded in?

https://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1991/0070/latest/DLM242543.html
here’s the definition of active “bed” but correct me if im wrong

Shingle that had flooded in ,slab creek, police man said it was to give everyone a chance to get some gold , just trying not to run into trouble again , its definitely tempting to go to other rivers but id rather go to places we’re aloud to go and not get in trouble still…

Sounds like police have no idea what they are talking about and should go back to the station, punishing you for digging in one of the few actual legal public fossicking areas with have, as long as you were not throwing your tailings up onto the campground or totally destroying the banks you are totally fine, my advice is if you go back there just make sure you fill in your hole or simply go upstream, the gold is generally better upstream from our experience too there.

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To add to that I know of dozens, even hundreds of people who dig huge holes right there next to the campground in the river, some even almost digging into the banks, sometimes dozens there on the same day and have never heard of any getting told off by police, I have heard of one guy who was digging right into the banks and into tree roots that some doc guys chased but that was it.

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Apart from that it was an awesome trip and i gave the gold bug to everyone that just came to camp by giving my pan to everyone to have a go while i was chucking stuff through my sluice

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Yea ive seen some big holes there too but just wanted to clarify the issue as i don’t wanna get in trouble and am trying to follow the “rules” ,seen where people had been digging into the river bank a few meters and even on top of the river bank but i honestly thought shingle banks were fair game

They are fair game, anywhere within the public fossicking area is 100% fair game no argument against it, and most people in their right mind don’t even mind if you are not even in the exact site confines as long as its not someone elses claim (eg if there is a side creek or the river splits, or you happen to be 10M up from the site limits).

As I said those police just sounded like they didn’t know what they were talking about, go back and you should be totally fine.

Cheers

I did a few holes up river and only got a few specks my last trip last year but am getting better at reading the river now i think, but thought why not just dig closer to camp and got my best gold so far so , walked up to the bedrock with my detector and all this trip just susing out the river as i really get enjoyment out of digging holes and getting gold not like when i was younger and just digging in the river where i lived for fun without the intention of gold hahaha

Yeah you can get suprisngly great gold right next to the campsite, just if you want anything super insane you are unlikely to hit it there as it has been picked over so many times. Just keep working and practicing and you will get there soon!

Lol yeah I used to do that too, build dams and pits, and when I got my first mining gear I spent hours digging in rivers with no gold here in Canterbury before I could actually get over to the coast.

Best of luck! -

The Sluicers

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Cheers for the chat mate good luck getting that gold

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Thinking now do you have a you tube channel with the same name,

Yeah bro, thats us :), we have a few videos on Slab Hutt actually a more recent one where we went a while upstream and got a fair bit and then a really really old video our first mining one on the channel where we get a little bit just a tiny bit up from the campsite ( I would not recommend watching that one though as its a very low quality video as it was the first one I ever made, we were also newbie prospectors so had little good advice to share)

Cheers

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Yea ive watched a lot of your videos and thinking about doing some of my own, i won’t go anywhere thats not a public fossicking area tho its tempting, as im shure id get caught and get the book thrown at me , really think we should all stay in rivers we are allowed to so we don’t ruin it for everyone else tho aye

Awesome, best of luck! Yeah all our sites are either private claims owned by friends or Public sites, we do very occasinally try other areas on private land that is not claimed but obviously do not post those on video. We do have the two videos of spots in canterbury, which I think is fine to have video’s off showing people there are traces of gold, and its the equvalient to someone digging out a swimming hole in the rivers and doing 0 damage at all, you have people fishing, jet boating, even taking home buckets of rocks for the garden all doing it and having more “Damage” (if it can be called that) then shifting a few greywacke rocks would ever do in those massive open rivers.

Cheers

Keep up the good work tho have enjoyed watching your content, and seeing your enthusiasm to the hunt

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I have been reliably informed that very recently two to three guys had a 6 inch suction dredge working on the DOC public fossicking mining licence. Upstream from the camping area. They appear to have worked at night using strip led lights to light the area. And no doubt used head lamps also. They not only dredged the creek bed but bored into the bank for a considerable distance following what appeared to be a good lead. DOC became aware of this activity, and DOC Rangers along with Police visited with the intent of catching these scum in the act. But alas, they had flown. Dredge and all. How long they were operating I cannot ascertain. The lighting gear and other associated dredging gear was found in the dredged area, high up on the bank, concealed in the bush. This was found not by DOC and the Police, but by the informant. Who is a hobby miner, who spends quite a bit of time at Slab Hut sluicing. He inspected the site and noticed drag marks in the bank bush. On climbing the bank for some distance, he found the cache of concealed gear. The scum bags had obviously planned this illegal mission well. Must be known in the circles, esp in the Grey valley. After all, they have a 6 inch dredge. Surface type. Make or home build unknown. Pass the word brothers. Any info to Reefton DOC or Reefton Police. And now we know why DOC and the Police are keeping their eye on things and visiting the claim. My i formation came from a guaranteed source. Of course no affiliation to the scum bags. It was his mate the hobby sluicer who told him what went down. Hang em high brothers, they deserve no less. Well figuratively anyway.
Cheers The Hatter.

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That makes a lot of sense why they were there and monitoring it, thanks for the info bro. Dissapoints me that people like this dredge in one of the few public fossicking areas we have and ruin it for the panners and sluicers, (at least now hopefully they will get caught thanks to their reckless actions), these are the type of guys that give gold prospecting bad reputation. We will keep our eyes out.

Cheers

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