One of the most exciting ways to gather gold is by dredging for it. Gold likes to settle in cracks and crevices in creek and riverbeds and without a hand dredge, you could be missing a lot of valuable material.
Gold dredges are used to suck material out of cracks in bedrock under water, crevices in between boulders and from other hard-to-reach places under water. You simply use the gold dredge to suck up the material and squirt it out into a five-gallon bucket for further processing. As you fill the bucket, you’ll end up with more water than material, but don’t worry, as you continue to dredge the material will displace the water and the bucket will fill up. One common mistake made by prospectors is to dredge up so much material that they can no longer lift the bucket to move it, or the handle rips out of the bucket. It’s best to fill the bucket to about half full of paydirt to ensure the handle stays intact and you can move it!
Once you get your bucket filled you can choose to classify down the material using classifiers or run it as it is. Be sure to use a gold pan to pan out some paydirt first to see what size gold is in the area so you can select the right gold classifier.
Handheld suction dredges are great to get under the downstream side of boulders in rivers or streams where it’s very difficult to dig with a shovel. Shovels end up losing a lot of material under water with each scoop whereas the hand dredge sucks it all out. Be sure not to undermine the foundation of the boulder you’re dredging, or the force of the water could push it over on you.
High Plains Prospectors stocks a variety of handheld suction dredges in different sizes. We have some designed to pump right into a bucket. If that’s too cumbersome we also have dredges that aren’t connected to buckets by a hose. Suction dredges range in size from backpacker dredges which are about two feet long to some that are about three feet long.
We provide a variety of dredging accessories that can be used to enhance your dredge's ability to capture gold. From dredge hoses, dredge nozzle tips, header box adapters, to miner's moss and grooved matting we keep much of this stuff in stock at all times. Some of it is available seasonally or as needed.