They are already talking about it. The murmer is growing and the consensus is building. People are tuning up their machines, gathering supplies, and scoping out new spots. This is going to be one of the best mining seasons in decades!

Several things are working in favor of the miner, as it appears the winter storms have brought an end to the three-year long drought, a change in government regulations is on the horizon, the price of fuel and supplies remain low, and gold remains around $1,200 per ounce. All that points to a good year for gold mining.

The miners can feel it. That tug on their soul, the calling from their claims, that burning, passionate desire to go gold mining again. The bitter cold is behind us and the snow is melting filling the drainages with the turbulent waters that you know are bringing down more gold from the highlands – and you want some of that! You want to be part of the new gold rush!

The history of gold is riddled with tall tales, folklores, and exaggerations that would make the less inclined person scoff and say “bah humbug! There’s no more gold out there!” But knowledgeable miners and prospectors of today are still finding gold, and many are becoming pretty darn rich – and having fun doing it!

Of course there is still gold out there – lots of it! Just a couple years ago there was a huge 6-pound gold nugget found in Butte County, a 74 ounce nugget laced with quartz and country rock was found in Plumas County about six years ago, and just before the moratorium a suction dredge took effect in 2009, a two-person team recovered 24 pounds of gold in four months on the Feather River. This year, this season looks like another banner year for the Golden State.

Remember your California history? One of the largest gold areas in the Golden State is called the Mother Lode Belt – a 400 mile-long, 75 mile-wide swath of gold-bearing rocks and gravels in the foothills of the Sierra.

Numerous old mining towns dot the trends with names like Seneca, Quincy, Downieville, Nevada City, Placerville, Angles Camp, and Sonora. Each have their own history, how the gold was discovered, where were the richer mines, who were the people that found their fortunes. For some, it is the history of those times that provides them with their wealth, while for others, it is and will always be about the yellow metal. Both are compelling and each will change how you live your life.

Plumas County is the northern-most county in the Mother Lode Belt, and was one of the richest gold-bearing counties in California. The Plumas County Museum is a huge source of information of what happened in the county during the earlier gold rushes. Be sure to check out their exhibits too! The Plumas-Eureka State Park has wonderful displays as well. Find an expert, a geologist or miner, and learn from them. Research the internet for information, tips and techniques. You’ll find gold – there’s no doubt! There is still plenty of it out there.

Gold mining is not a new thing. It is something in our blood – something that we feel is right. Today’s miners are smarter than ever before. They have better tools to recover the precious metal and the wisdom to work with Mother Nature. Today’s miners are responsible citizens and reclamation is part of their mining process. It is a thrill to find your first gold speck, flake or nugget. Once you do, you will be hooked forever. It is fun for the whole family and who knows, maybe, just maybe, if youare a wee bit lucky… you too, will jump for joy, click your heels, and shout “Eureka! I found it!”

Charles WatsonCharles P. Watson is the chief geologist at Advanced Geologic Exploration, Inc. located in Chester, California.

He is an expert on gold exploration, mining, permitting, and a mining history buff as well. He can be reached at cwatson@advancedgeologic.

com or at

Advanced Geologic locates and sells high quality gold mining claims. They also provide superior mining and geologic consulting, and can assist you with all your mining and permitting needs. The gold rush is on! Contact them and claim your fortune!