Colorado - Dredging the Arkansas River, Colorado -- 2 thru 6 May 2017

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Colorado - Dredging the Arkansas River, Colorado -- 2 thru 6 May 2017

Post by Admin on Sun May 07, 2017 8:44 am

Greetings Gold Adventurers...

I had the chance to get out on a week's worth of suction dredging on a good friend's claim recently...  Before the snow melt comes and the river is flooding from mid-May thru mid-June.

The weather was very "brisk" for this time of year.  Normally mid-20s in the morning, warming some.  Tuesday & Wednesday were cool, cloudy, up to 41F.  Even had snow Tuesday night!  Wednesday improved and Thursday, Friday & Saturday were awesome.  Regardless, the water was very cold!

Day 1: 2 May 2017 -- Get the dredge to the river, downriver and start operations was the goal.

Dredge off the trailer, assembled, ready to be floated to the Ark and then downriver to my dredge spot:


Safely arrived at my dredge spot, ready to unpack, get the dredge going!


First dredge spot.  Ran an hour, cleaned up:


My trusty dredge ready for a cleanup...  7 feet of Vortex matting. I ran the throttle a hair below 3/4 throttle.  The Matting ran clean:


Moved to the very tail end of the big bar, worked it hard for over 2 hours:


End of Day 1...........all cleaned up, dredge "beached" and locked up for the night:


Here's my fine flood gold...  20.2 grains or 1.30 grams:



Day 2:  3 May 2017 -- Pick up where I left off, suck up as much gravel as possible was the day's goal.

Arrived early morning at the parking lot to snow!  Was mid 30s...


Ha.  Snow on my dredge...


Decided to keep working that tail end of the bar hard..........moved a LOT of rocks/sand & gravel by day's end:



My 'Long Tom" sluice box.............all 7 feet with Vortex matting:


Here's my gold take for the day...  26.7 grains or 1.73 grams:



Day 3:  4 May 2017 -- Ended up moving to a totally new spot on the far side of the claim.  Ugh...  Always some effort, but in the end, was WELL worth it.

Moved up the bank a little ways...  Started dredging at the water's edge, splashed the bank to wash material down and into my nozzle:



Stopped after 1 hour & 15 minutes, cleaned up.  Not good gold...  Decided to walk the claim, sample pan for a new spot:


After an hour of sample panning all over, I found an unlikely spot next to fast water, on the rocky edge of the East bar.  So, I broke the dredge down, moved to this new spot.  Was up and running within an hour:


Worked the rest of the day...........from noon to about 2:45PM.  Cleaned up:


This is the panning of just the top 1 foot of Vortex mat under the flair.  YEAH BABY!  Very nice color, especially compared to wat I was seeing over at the first spot I dredged and moved from th here!


End of day shot, all done dredging.  Moved a decent amount of rocks/sand/gravels in less than 3 hours of nozzle time:


I wanted to do another Gold Cube cleanup test......pan both trays separately...  NO surprise, like in other tests I've done over the years...almost ALL of the gold was caught in the top tray.....in this test 97.5%.  Only 2.5% made it to the lower tray.  What did was no surprise, some really flat, light flakes that would keep tumbling and some 200 mesh nano specks.  Way to go Gold Cube!!!   Wink

Here's my Gold Cube top tray gold...  52.5 grains or 3.40 grams:



Here's my Gold Cube lower tray...  1.3 grains or .0843 grams:



Here's the grand total of both trays, all cleaned up...  53.8 grains or 3.49 grams of nice, fine flood gold:



Day 4:  5 May 2017 --  My prospecting buddy Ron from C. Springs came up for the day to help me "team" dredge...

Ron and I killed it this day...  Perfect day, sunny, warm, nice.  Ron pitched rocks, tended the dredge box, raked the tailing pile down all day, made it so I could just stay on the nozzle all day with near zero interruptions.  We moved some dirt!



Upriver view showing how beautiful the day was...  The Ark was flowing only 300 CFS at the Granite gauge, crystal clear, cold:


Ron was able to get a few shots of me....

Randy on the nozzle:



Randy moving the dredge:



Randy end of day... A victory display:



Day's end shot.  


Here's our gold for the day...  48.8 grains or 3.16 grams:





Day 5:  6 May 2017 -- Last day dredging, back by myself.  Planned to do a 1/2 day of dredging, break the dredge down, drag it back to parking, load it on my trailer and get it home.

Very cool....a Canadian goose nest on top of the bar, right out in the open.  I saw the 2 parents with 4 little goslings roaming the claim the last 3 days.  Those babies were SO cute, just little balls of yellow down and big black feet & beaks!


Back to dredging until noon.  Finished at the lower end of the "hole".....meaning the bar bank when the black sand ran out after 1 hour and 45 minutes.  So, I pulled the dredge up to the top and finished there at noon with 3 hours and 5 minutes of nozzle time, when the dredge finally ran out of gas:



All done dredging at noon.  Had a sandwich and a bottle of water.  Notice the clouds building up?  Cooled off too, as a new storm front approached.  Was supposed to start getting ugly again on Sunday, so I decided to pull the dredge today:



After a little effort carrying dredge parts and equipment upriver, pulling the dredge by itself agains the current, reloading it up............I got it safely back to the parking lot!  Broke her all down into pieces, loaded her onto my trailer and back to the ranch.  Another successful Arkansas River dredging "Gold Adventure" in the books!


Here's my gold for the 3 hours and 5 minutes of nozzle time...  26.4 grains or 1.71 grams:



I made a bunch of short videos too:

Day 1 -- 2 May -- First video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKfnbpJ5xdw

Day 1 -- 2 May -- Final video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g33wCqosuQQ

Day 2 -- 3 May -- Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97JqIRCfymg

Day 3 -- 4 May -- First video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8hlBoohPvg&t=22s

Day 3 -- 4 May -- Final video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDWMR3PIdkQ

Day 4 -- 5 May -- Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwBpKhYzdgQ

Day 5 -- 6 May -- First video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8WsEEhu3OA

Day 5 -- 6 May -- Final video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LW18YbmL5uk

So, overall............a lot of fun, despite a couple smashed/bruised fingers from rock slap and sliding cobbles down the bank.  

The grand total of all the gold for the 4 1/2 days of dredging:  175.9 grains or 11.40 grams!   Very Happy   I screened the gold and NOT a surprise at all........87% was all minus 50 mesh to 200 nano specks...

The Ark was only 300 CFS and crystal clear and cold when I started on Tuesday.  But, by Saturday it had jumped to 409 CFS and this morning was already up to 443 CFS.  The water was turning murky...  With the snow melt starting, it won;t be long before the river is one big, chocolate brown boiling "angry" river!  Nice to get in 4 1/2 days of dredging before this happens.

Hoping you too get out on a "Gold Adventure" of you own soon, come back, post a Trip Report for all to enjoy!

Randy  C-17A      Smile


Last edited by Admin on Mon May 08, 2017 6:45 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Re: Colorado - Dredging the Arkansas River, Colorado -- 2 thru 6 May 2017

Post by russau on Sun May 07, 2017 10:41 am

What a great pick me up you post is Randy! THANKS for the tag-a-long!

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Re: Colorado - Dredging the Arkansas River, Colorado -- 2 thru 6 May 2017

Post by dickb on Sun May 07, 2017 11:14 am

Randy, it looks like you had some "really cold hard fun". I hope you have lots of yella to show for your effort.

Heavy pans! Very Happy

It won't be long and I'll be stopping at Lucky Strike.

Time for some good windshield time.

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Re: Colorado - Dredging the Arkansas River, Colorado -- 2 thru 6 May 2017

Post by Admin on Sun May 07, 2017 5:34 pm

Russ,

Ha. Glad to give you a "tag-a'long"! Wink

Dickb,

Yep... Lots of hard fun... It's been stormy here yesterday afternoon & today.........cloudy, thunderstorms, lightning, thunder and thunder showers...

The Arks up to 463 CFS at the Granite gauge and rising.

Good I pull the dredge when I did. The flooding IS coming!

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Re: Colorado - Dredging the Arkansas River, Colorado -- 2 thru 6 May 2017

Post by Dave on Mon May 08, 2017 4:54 pm

Really nice there with low water and gold and geese. Wish I could have come over, but Saturday was my 8 year-old granddaughter's birthday and I could not miss that. And last week was the last week of classes, so that meant could not go over during the week. And this week is finals, with tons of grading and then grade cuts, etc.

All this to say how much I enjoyed reading and seeing what you were dredging. Thank you. Like Russ, I love tagging along. Smile


When are the pictures of the take going up?

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Re: Colorado - Dredging the Arkansas River, Colorado -- 2 thru 6 May 2017

Post by Admin on Mon May 08, 2017 5:51 pm

Russ, Dickb, Dave...

I just updated the above dredging Trip Report to show gold take by day, in grains & grams, with a pic or two of each.

All totaled up, I/we got 175.9 grains or 11.40 grams in 4 1/2 days of dredging! Way better than I expected. Last August I dredged the same 4 1/2 days on a different claim......and only got 5.18 grams. I definitely think the 7 feet of Vortex does better at gettin' this super fine flood gold than the GH matting.

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Re: Colorado - Dredging the Arkansas River, Colorado -- 2 thru 6 May 2017

Post by Dave on Mon May 08, 2017 5:57 pm

Admin wrote:Russ, Dickb, Dave...

I just updated the above dredging Trip Report to show gold take by day, in grains & grams, with a pic or two of each.

All totaled up, I/we got 175.9 grains or 11.40 grams in 4 1/2 days of dredging!  Way better than I expected.  Last August I dredged the same 4 1/2 days on a different claim......and only got 5.18 grams.  I definitely think the 7 feet of Vortex does better at gettin' this super fine flood gold than the GH matting.

Randy  C-17A  Smile

Good to know about the Vortex matting for fine flood gold!! Thanks for the new pictures; there are some nice pieces in there, in spite of the fact so much is less than 50 mesh.

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Re: Colorado - Dredging the Arkansas River, Colorado -- 2 thru 6 May 2017

Post by dickb on Tue May 09, 2017 9:46 am

Hi Randy:

I wonder how far down the mat the gold is migrating? If it's getting all the way down the mat, then cleanouts more often may be in order.

Anyway that a nice haul of gold and it's nice to know that you found a better hole to work. With all the water coming down the Ark this year there may some moving around of the deposits so that certainly won't hurt.

Happy hunting and heavy pans.

Dickb
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Re: Colorado - Dredging the Arkansas River, Colorado -- 2 thru 6 May 2017

Post by Admin on Tue May 09, 2017 9:57 am

Dickb,

Yeah........ Might be good to know just how far the gold gets down the mat... BUT, I am 100% sure NOTHING captures 100%. Nothing. The gold's way too fine.

I'd rather get 80% of a zillion yards than 90% of a lot less yardage, IF I spent too much time cleaning up, running slower, etc.

As it is I cleanup between an hour and 2 hours, depending on how I think the sluice box is running, clearing...

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Re: Colorado - Dredging the Arkansas River, Colorado -- 2 thru 6 May 2017

Post by dickb on Tue May 09, 2017 10:08 am

Hi Randy:

A agree it's a balance between the two and you seem to have dialed it in really well. There is no question that some of the micro stuff is floating out the end. But you still have to have enough flow to clear the overburden. I really think that the vortex is probably the best way to go. You still have to know what your looking for and design the recovery method to achieve that goal. I would make you sick to think that your catching all the fines and those 3/8" nuggets are rolling out the back end. HA!

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Re: Colorado - Dredging the Arkansas River, Colorado -- 2 thru 6 May 2017

Post by russau on Tue May 09, 2017 10:50 am

Although now I'm down to one 2 inch Keene dredge I have the Vortex mat for it and the Gold Hog mats and several others to boot. I sure hope I can handle this 2 inch brute Very Happy

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Re: Colorado - Dredging the Arkansas River, Colorado -- 2 thru 6 May 2017

Post by Dave on Wed May 10, 2017 10:41 pm

Russ, getting it into the water is my problem.  I have a 2" dredge also. Well, to be more honest, getting back up the banks, etc., when I am tired.  Getting old stinks!

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Re: Colorado - Dredging the Arkansas River, Colorado -- 2 thru 6 May 2017

Post by russau on Thu May 11, 2017 1:41 pm

Dave you hit the nail right on the head!!!!!!!! I'm hoping that I also can get up after I have dredged awhile. Maybe I need to bring my walker??????????? ( Very Happy Sad Shocked Mad Crying or Very sad Razz bounce )

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Re: Colorado - Dredging the Arkansas River, Colorado -- 2 thru 6 May 2017

Post by Dave on Thu May 11, 2017 4:11 pm

russau wrote:Dave you hit the nail right on the head!!!!!!!! I'm hoping that I also can get up after I have dredged awhile. Maybe I need to bring my walker??????????? ( Very Happy Sad Shocked Mad Crying or Very sad Razz bounce )

Just getting up from a chair, let alone dredging, is sometimes a problem. Earlier this week, I had cadets in my office, frantically studying for their chem finals. We were there 4 hours; I was so stiff getting up, I could not walk properly. However, I did 4 hours of standing and talking to about 120 cadets Sunday evening in a large classroom. After 4 hours of standing, walking, moving and talking for 4 straight hours, I was bushed. Like I said, getting old stinks!

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Re: Colorado - Dredging the Arkansas River, Colorado -- 2 thru 6 May 2017

Post by Dave on Thu May 11, 2017 4:28 pm

Russ, you and I ought to run our 2"er's together. You could work the dredge tube for a while, I could tend the sluice box; then we could swap. Probably be easier on both of us. And we would only have to move one dredge down the bank and back up!!

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Re: Colorado - Dredging the Arkansas River, Colorado -- 2 thru 6 May 2017

Post by Admin on Thu May 18, 2017 1:59 pm

ALCON,

We got 3 + inches of very wet, heavy snow last night.....and it's been lightly snowing and sleeting on/off all day too. The storm system isn't supposed to pass on until after Friday night...

NO surprise, the Ark's jumped up a lot!

Currently showing 1,130 CFS at the USGS Granite gauge!

https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?cb_00065=on&cb_00060=on&format=gif_default&site_no=07087050

It was only 300 CFS for the first 4 days and 400ish my last day on Saturday dredging...

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Re: Colorado - Dredging the Arkansas River, Colorado -- 2 thru 6 May 2017

Post by russau on Thu May 18, 2017 6:29 pm

Yep Dave , it sounds like we are both in bad shape! I'm at the crossroad of "do I throw the towel in now or ?" If I had someone to offer me $$ for all of my equipment that was fair , I just might take them up on it. I've been organizing things and trying to write up a list to get a idea of all the equipment I have. I sold my (Leonard Leepers) 4 inch Keene before I had a chance to get it wet because of my Knees / ankles / back because it was just to heavy ! Now I'm down to the Keene 2 inch dredge and I've got it set up for all options it can be set up for and the tag-a-long air compressor on similar floats and I'm wondering if I can handle it in and out of the water and more importantly , could I get upright after laying down for so long. It may be time to pull the plug on dredging for me! I had one club member say he had a friend that is looking for a 2 inch dredge but he never called back for any of the info or price...................so maybe its time to post it on Craigslist to see where that goes. I still have my utility trailer full of equipment plus another truck load in my other garage. Time to decide on which way to go!

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Re: Colorado - Dredging the Arkansas River, Colorado -- 2 thru 6 May 2017

Post by Admin on Fri May 19, 2017 10:07 am

Russ,

Well......hoping both you and Dave all the best... Wink

I am not a Spring chicken myself anymore. I just get out as I can, do what I can......while I STILL can! Ha.

Not sure what you'll decide on your prospecting future, equipment, etc., but if you do decide to "liquidate", maybe post a WANT TO SELL ad here on the Forum? Over at Gold Dredger too? Others, like the GPAA Forum?

I'd try selling to a fellow listed prospector before enduring the A-holes, low ballers, 3rd party resellers and scammers on Criag's List.

When I was in Kalifornia for the month, trying to help my Mom sell Dad's 2 Dodge diesel trucks.....I posted ads on Craig's List and immediately got contacted by 2 scammers trying to run a fake PayPal scam. Then, over the week calls by a bunch of 3rd party resellers and then by a couple of low ballers.....wanting to "take them off my hands" for pennies... Ugh.

3+ more inches of snow here last night. Low this morning was 25F. Now that I had coffee & eggs, I am off to go shovel off the decks, the patio and around the barn, again. Did the same yesterday when we got the first 3+ inches...

Come on Summer! Spring is too much like Winter!!! Wink

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