Heavy rain can pay off for gold panning, local group says

All of the recent rainfall means good news for people panning for gold. A local group called, the Central Valley Prospectors, say a storm like this can make it easier to find gold in certain areas throughout the valley and even the mountains.

“Well gold is a lot of fun to find," said David Efseaff, one of the founding members of the Central Valley Prospectors.

He says he’s found lots of gold with the help of his tools like a metal detectors and his group.

David Efseaff says he's found gold all over the central valley, in deserts and in mountains.

“When there's a lot of water like it's flowing through here right now there may be some bigger pieces dislodged," said Efseaff.

He says that gold can be dislodged and waiting for the right gold hunter to come along and find it.

Efseaff says mud slides and even rock slides can help.

"That also moves gold it breaks it loose from where it may be locked in and it settles down into the streams and pockets," said Efseaff.

But Efseaff says he'll still have to wait a bit before he puts any new gold in his pockets.

"You go when the water is safe because right now it's real dangerous because of the fast moving water,” said Efseaff.

Efseaff says the largest piece of gold he found was about the size of his fingernail. He says even the smallest pieces add up. In fact, at market value, an ounce of gold can be worth $1,200.

Efseaff says while some miners may sell their gold a lot of them don't. He says the Central Valley Prospectors also do clean ups in the areas where they look for gold. There is a meeting scheduled for January 17th to discuss things like whether gold panning hurts water quality.

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