Hi Booker...I hope this may help some...Sue
RECREATIONAL PROSPECTING IN PA COMMONWEALTH’S WATERWAYS
Recreational prospecting is the search for precious metals, gemstones and semi-precious minerals. In Pennsylvania, hunting for gold is the most common form of recreational prospecting. Prospecting enthusiasts often hunt for gold at public rights of way where bridges cross gold-bearing streams using a shovel and gold pan. Prospecting equipment can be found at hobby stores, rock shops, metal detector retailers and hardware stores in areas where gold hunting is popular.
METHODS AND EQUIPMENT NOT REQUIRING PERMITS
• Non-motorized pans, shovels, pan or dish-type hand classifiers and picks.
• Non-motorized sluice boxes, sieves, concentrators and mini-rocker boxes.
METHODS AND EQUIPMENT REQUIRING PERMITS
• Suction dredges with a nozzle no larger than four inches in diameter.
• High-bankers or suction dredge/high-banker combinations with a water intake no larger than two and one-half inches (inside) diameter, which are operated entirely below the ordinary high water line.
If you are planning to use a suction dredge or high-banker, you must first apply for a permit from the appropriate Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regional office. Applicants are encouraged to have a pre-application meeting with DEP to discuss the nature and scope of their proposed activities before applying for this permit. To ensure that the pre-application meeting is as productive as possible for both parties, applicants must be prepared to discuss the following issues:
The location of the proposed dredging.
The type of dredging equipment.
An estimate of the amount of material that will be dredged.
A plan for disposing of any excess material.
The proximity of any public drinking water sources.
When applying for a permit, applicants should also consider:
Stocked or wild trout streams with the following seasonal restrictions:
Stocked trout streams March 1 – June 15
Wild trout streams Oct. 1 – Dec. 31
Lake Erie tributaries Sept. 1 – April 30
The use of chemicals or other contaminants is prohibited.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER
The removal of precious metals, gemstones or minerals from submerged lands of this commonwealth in quantities which are commercially usable or marketable in conjunction with any permitted dredging activity is subject to the royalty and agreement provisions of the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act. DEP’s regional offices can help determine if you are prospecting on submerged lands. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection http://www.depweb.state.pa.us
3930-FS-DEP4099 Rev. 3/2009
If you plan to prospect on state game land, state forestland or in a state park, please contact the appropriate agencies before prospecting to ensure that you are familiar with their rules and regulations.
DEP permits do not convey any property rights. You must obtain permission from the property owner before prospecting on private property or public lands.
For more information, visit http://www.depweb.state.pa.us
, keyword: Prospecting or contact:
PERMITTING AND TECHNICAL SERVICES SECTION -COUNTY RESPONSIBILITY
Northcentral Regional Office
208 W. Third St., Suite 101
Williamsport, PA 17701
570-327-3574 Bradford, Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga and Union
Southcentral Regional Office
909 Elmerton Ave.
Harrisburg, PA 17110
717-705-4707 Adams, Bedford, Berks, Blair, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Mifflin, Perry and York
Northeast Regional Office
2 Public Square
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711-0790
570-826-2511 Carbon, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming
Southeast Regional Office
2 East Main Street
Norristown, PA 19401
484-250-5970 Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia
Northwest Regional Office
230 Chestnut St.
Meadville, PA 16335
814-332-6984 Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Mercer, Venango and Warren
Southwest Regional Office
400 Waterfront Dr.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-4745
412-442-4000 Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland
DEP CENTRAL OFFICE
Bureau of Watershed Management
Division of Waterways, Wetlands and Stormwater Management
P.O. Box 8775
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8775