Where to Dredge

Page 4


As stated previously, gold only moves when the water pressure is high enough to move an object 19 times heavier than itself. So when the water pressure lessens, even a small amount, gold "drops." So, let's take a look at some conditions that will decrease water pressure of a river during its flood stage. Doing so will provide a short list of locations that gold will tend to collect, or "pocket." 


We already know that the inside of curves is a good place to look for gold. Both the point where the inside of the curve starts, and the fan or "pay streak" after the curve will both have good gold. This is because the speed of the water at the inside of a curve is less than the "mean water speed." We also know that the speed of the water on the outside of the curve is greater than the mean water speed. So, no gold (generally) will be found on the outside of the curve, as the water pressure has pushed it around and out of the curve.


What other conditions can cause water speed to slow down, or "break?" Any large object in the water will have that water "curving" around it. And, just like a large curve in the river, the water that curves around an object will have gold deposited at the beginning and ending of those curves.


Consider a large boulder sitting in the river. Water flows around the boulder. The water "curves" around the boulder on both sides. If you look closely at the center of the upriver side of the boulder, you will see that the water is almost stopped. That is a place that gold may pocket (at the center of the upriver side of the boulder. If you watch the water as it curves around both sides, you also see a location where the water again almost comes to a stop, and that is the center of the down river side of the boulder. This is also a good location for gold, and is generally better than the up river pocket. 


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In this same way, any object sitting on the river bottom that must have water flowing around it will pocket gold in the same way. One word of caution. Logs laying in the water assist is the habitat of fish, and the authorities frown upon the disturbance of these logs and log jams. I suggest steering clear of logs to stay in the good graces of the Fish and Wildlife agencies.


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