Oregon tightens permit to dredge for gold

Oregon tightens permit to dredge for gold
In this Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2009 photo, Aaron Webb of Rapids, Wis., left, and Matt Lauer of Portage, Wis., team up to hunt for gold with a suction dredge on the Klamath River near Happy Camp, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Barnard)

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Oregon is tightening water quality restrictions on suction gold dredges, which small-time miners use to glean flecks of gold from river bottoms long ago mined of their riches.

The new rules announced Tuesday by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality reduce the size of dredges used in essential salmon habitat.

 

They also require miners to keep a log showing they check once a day that the muddy water coming out of their dredges does not extend more than 300 feet downstream.

The revisions were made after a court challenge from both miners and conservationists to the old rule, which expired in June, and neither group is very happy with the outcome.

 

More hobby gold miners have been coming to Oregon since California declared a moratorium on dredging.


 

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.