Raging River - there's gold in them there hills.

There's also this thread: http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/board/showthread.php/49300-Raging-River?highlight=raging+river

Gary, where did you hear about the new Gold and Fish rules being out? I asked the ORA about it. This is their response: "Thank you for contacting the Office of Regulatory Assistance. The Gold and Fish rules are updated periodically, but not on an annual basis (I think the last update was around 1999). As of now, WDFW has no plans to update them for 2010. Please continue to use and refer to the 2009 Gold and Fish pamphlet."

I think they're wrong about the last update (believe it was more recent) but folks shouldn't be panning in the Raging right now. Re. the rainbows, I guess we'll never know if they're residents or migratory since we can't foretell the future. I think at this point in their life history they still check the "Undecided" box. -Matt

Old Man

Just an Old Man
I believe that if they closed that little river down. The people that live on it would fish it anyway. The are one hell of a lot of houses on that little river.. They do this on the Pilchuck river in the summer time. I used to know somebody who fish it.

Derek Young

Emerging Rivers Guide Services
Well, difficult to say. And this is the proverbial chicken and egg argument - would the panners stay away if the fisherman were there? Or would closing it down only lead to illegal access and therefore abuse. IMHO, stewardship of the resource through ethical catch and release - a watchful eye and a careful hand. Can we prove these fish are natives and this seasonal stream is critical habitat? If they are native fish then it should be easy to do.

Historically, the Raging drops so far in flow that I'd guess few if any redds survive. It's a volatile river subject to extreme flows.
Nice post and pics Derek. I almost got the 6000 for christmas but opted for the Canon D10 and i'm still waiting for it to come in the mail:hmmm:

As for the panners, i've read the rules before and unless they've changed the season is usually very short on the westside rivers, something around 2 months in late summer early fall?

Looking at that youg fellow sluicing directly into the river, I believe, is also a no no.

From what I recall is that you are supposed to dig and sluice above the highwater mark and on a gravel bar so sediment from your sluice box doesn't escape into the water (to protect redds).

Can anybody verify that?
I need to know what county the Raging river is in to be able to tell ya what the prospecting rules are.
Or you all can go to the WDFW web site and down load the "Gold and Fish rules for Mineral prospecting and placer mining"
As I read the rules hand panning, sluice boxes are legal and open year round within the wetted perimeter. page 10 of the "Fish and Gold" book.
I didn't make the rules so don't shoot the messenger.

Derek Young

Emerging Rivers Guide Services
Thanks Gary - it's a great opportunity to educate all users on stewardship of our rivers, so that meaningful dialogue can lead to a greater awareness and hopefully, self-preservation. I'll have a copy with me to share with the next panners I find.

We're all looking for gold these days.

Derek Young

Emerging Rivers Guide Services
Update - I spoke with Lisa Wood at WDFW this morning. Individuals can be permitted to pan under most circumstances, with the exception of "digging" within in the streambed. Interesting to learn, and as complicated as some of our fishing regulations. Their advice - call Enforcement if you think there is a violation, and "make" the panner's prove they are legal.


Mineral Prospector
Hello all. My name is AAron Burrelle I am the claims chairmen for the Bedrock Prospectors out of Puyallup. I live in Seattle and go up to the Raging River and many other streams to Pan, sluice and occasionally High bank just to get out of the house and relax a little. Here is a link to the new Gold and Fish pamphlet of Washington effective April 2 2009. On pages 10 - 12 are the year round rules for prospecting. I have never read the fishing rules because I do not fish, I never found the patience to fish properly. The work windows at the end of the pamphlet are time we are allowed to go out and dredge and dig in the wetted areas of the streams and rivers (In the water).
Our sluices and pans are permitted in the stream and rivers out side these work windows as long as we follow the rules. High-banking is only allowed with 12vdc water pumps outside these work windows and the materials can not run directly back into the stream or river.

If you see someone damming up a stream and digging in the stream and shoveling the materials into a sluice they built the dam for call an officer immediately. People like this make the rules more restrictive for me and destroy habitat for the fish.
I speak to lots of fishermen and women when I am out prospecting, I show them my rule book and explain the rules I have to follow to them. They tell me fish stories and I tell them prospecting stories.
If you have any questions about the rules go to the link above and look. As a rule the large majority enforcement officers I have spoke to while prospecting did not know there were new rules out or how to enforce them, I do mean WDFW officers. I am informed and follow the rules while out mineral prospecting. Since fishermen are out in the streams more than I, you knowing the basic rules of prospecting in WA. helps protect the habitat you and I enjoy.
If you have any questions email me got to the link above or look at our club web site. I hope this is not out of line with this forum.

Me above hwy 18 bridge. There is not much gold up there but there are a few nuggets to be found and I enjoy the hiking.

Derek Young

Emerging Rivers Guide Services
Thanks AAron. I think it's totally appropriate and welcome your involvement in this thread and forum. Given that first picture, we're these two illegally panning then?



Mineral Prospector
If they were taking there material directly out of the water in the river then Yes, they were panning/sluicing illegally . If he was scooping it out of a bucket (I could not see one in the picture) he got from the shore above the water line then No, he was panning/sluicing legally. A sluice in the water (that is a La Trap sluice) to clean screened material from the shore line is legal.
If you come across someone in the rivers or streams and you see that they are in an area that has egg beds point them out to the prospector and ask them or suggest to them they should move down stream away from the bed. If they give you any lip just tell them it is in there rule book. I had a ranger point out what egg beds look like to me many years ago so I know what to look for when sluicing. With the rise in gold prices there are a lot of amateurs out who think they are going to get rich with a pan or sluice and don't know about the rules they should be following. I have come across a few and told them where to get the rules from.
Pictures are worth a 1000 words and a license plate number is worth more to stop illegal activities. :thumb:
Knowing the basic rules of prospecting makes that determination easier.