Gold panning spikes in Auburn State Recreation Area rivers
Rivers in the Auburn State Recreation Area have been getting a workout from pans and hands.
Supervising Ranger Scott Liske said that he’s witnessed a spike in panning activity on the Middle Fork and North Fork of the American River in the 30,000-acre canyon park near Auburn.
It’s a mini-Gold Rush that Liske said could be because of the increased price of gold or the impact of the Discovery Channel TV show “Gold Rush,” formerly known as “Gold Rush Alaska.”
“I’ve never seen as many people as I have in the last six months looking for gold,” Liske said. “I haven’t heard of anyone striking it rich or finding a big nugget but it has been a good time to look, with pleasant temperatures and lower-than-normal river levels.”
The Auburn State Recreation Area welcomes recreational gold seekers and has established guidelines to prevent stream bank erosion and prevent degradation of the wildland resource.
And Liske also cautions that regulations for the Folsom State Recreation Area, which adjoins Auburn State Recreation Area lands south of Auburn, are different. Panners should know where the boundaries are and find out the Folsom State regulations before moving into that area, he said.
“For hands and pans, it’s pretty well open year-round in the washed gravel bars,” Liske said.
Metal detectors are allowed but their use comes with some restrictions, including a ban on their use in the area west of Highway 49 in El Dorado County. That area of the park is closed to the use of metal detectors.
Metal detectors also may not be used in an area with historic or prehistoric resources. If any items with historic or prehistoric pasts are found, they cannot be collected or taken, according to Auburn State Recreation Area rules.
Auburn’s gold-seeking supply store – Pioneer Mining Supplies – has ...