Apr 27 2012
Just started poking around the CA regs and the first I came across was:
On which is
Plain text version of 02/17/2012 regulations
Where they define suction dedging by
All the definitions I found of 'sluice box' included riffles in the bottom of a trough. Can anyone point to a link containing a DFG legal definition or other CA legal definitions of 'sluice box'?
I also noticed regulations pertaining to 'lake and streambed alteration'. Is there any belief that that would in any way apply to a hobby sized dredging operation?
Lake and Steambed Alteration Program (LSA)
Apr 27 2012
May 2 2012
The video I was watching was a small hand held, electric powered crevicing tool. No sluice box involved.
Material is simply collected in a bottle/bucket then run through a sluice.
Look at the suction dredge permitting document and consider all the restrictions that do not apply if you are not operating a suction dredge (by simply not having a sluice box).
May 3 2012
"A person is suction dredging as
defined when ALL (emphasis added) of the following components are operating
(A) A hose which vacuums sediment from a river, stream
or lake; and
(B) A motorized pump; and
(C) A sluice box."
On a side note...Stopher also defined an active waterway as a stream that runs year-round...BUT he would not put that in writing!
SB 670 ONLY applies to suction dredging in an ACTIVE WATERWAY. So "Booming" is legal according to Mr. Stopher, right?
Clear as mud...(excuse the pun)
May 3 2012
But my original question is, what other regulations apply?
You are operating a nozzle/hose, pump, bucket in an active stream. Clearly not suction dredging.
What are the other regulations you need to worry about if you do not fall under suction dredging regulation?
It is likely the bucket is going to have fines overflowing as well as the larger rocks not making it into the bucket. Any laws about polluting (I've seen the ticket thread) or environmental aspects to this activity (not sure what to call it, gravel collection?).
Obviously you're likely going to run a sluice, so what laws and regulations on sluices, both in the active waterway and on land?
I've already found the highbanker faq:
Which leads me to believe a powered sluice could not be floating (such as the sluice from a suction dredge). Is that correct? Can I manually feed a powered floating sluice? Maybe a recirculating, floating, powered sluice?
Are there regulations about feeding a non-powered sluice in an active waterway? Are there regulations about recirculation land sluices? Are there regulations about hydraulically moving collected material to a sluice?
I guess maybe I'm asking, is there a place that has a link to the various pertinent CA (fed & EPA too I guess) laws & regulations for mining operations.
May 6 2012
That' a lot of questions! and I can pass on some info that I have "acquired" but let me first say that this is not legal advice and should not be construed a s such! Actually, since the dredge ban, we (as an industry) have become aware of how nebulous all this crap really is!
Your first statement is correct, simply, it depends on what jurisdiction you are in...The DF&G around the Klamath area seems to be OK with high-banking and booming if done non-commercially. However down in the Stanislaus and Sierra Nat. Forests they are getting more anti-mining.
"You are operating a nozzle/hose, pump, bucket in an ACTIVE STREAM. Clearly not suction dredging." WRONG! Active stream(bed) falls within the authority of sb670...Don't use a (suction)nozzle/pump bucket in an active streambed...the question has become "what is an active streambed?
To my knowledge there are no regs. on using a sluice...only regs. on creating a "significant disturbance" no matter what equipment you are using to recover the values.
As far as the Waterboard's permit thing, I'm pretty militant on that, maybe you otta' ask a lawyer 'cause I believe our Federal mining rights, that state that we have riparian water rights, etc., supersede any of that other crap they have come up with.
"Can I manually feed a powered floating sluice? Maybe a recirculating, floating, powered sluice?" Again, it's my understanding, from Mr. Stopher, that if any of A, B, or C is not being used, it is not a suction dredge and does not fall under the authority of sb670...
As far as all this and the rest of your questions, I would hope someone else on the forum would chime in and also correct any errors of mine...
May 6 2012
What is the link to the law/regulation that leads you to believe that?
Per this DFG regulation "suction dredging" consists of (A) Hose, (B) Pump, (C) Sluice Box.
No sluice box, none of that document applies.
May 8 2012
I was just trying to help you NOT get in trouble ...The above comments are things that I have come across through my and others conversations with Mark Stopher...Clearly you need to ask your local Game warden these questions...Best of luck...
Jan 3 2013
Jan 3 2013
There were some individuals who created systems based on topics like this and used them this last year in California.
Those people contacted various individuals and offices of CDF&G and created mining devices that were not "suction dredges"
This idea of how to perform in water mining in a manner that does not violate the dredging moratorium is not a new concept, and was not a new concept last spring. I promise people have been thinking about this since the moment Arnold signed the bill.
If someone deserves credit, I would give it to the individuals whom worked with CDF&G to make sure what they were creating was not a violation and for having the courage to truly be an innovator who created a device and got in the water and used it without being cited.
Jan 3 2013
Jan 4 2013
I been wondering about that too!
If I could get this stupid houseboat somehow moved from Shasta Lake over to ... river?
Bigger might not be better.
Let's use our existing technologies to achieve improved efficiencies. Advances in technology cannot be stopped, no matter who's feathers get ruffled.
Jan 4 2013
Significant is not legally defined, and is open to some judicial interpretation.
Just be aware that it is against the law to fail to comply with the 1602 process.
It requires you to initiate an application and fees to have CDF&G inspect/inquire as to whether or not CDF&G believes your activities will require that permit.
So unless you intend to apply and pay the fees to obtain one of these permits that are site specific, keep it small.
A thorough reading of the newly adopted dredging regulations should give you an understanding of where CDF&G currently feels this threshold is.