The form of mining done with a hand-held pan at water's edge is often used as a prospecting method to locate areas that may potentially produce adequate gold for the effort expended. Cradles or rockers, long toms, and sluices are larger modifications based on panning, once widely used for harvesting gold when pay dirt has been located.
With the Mother Lode's vibrant history as a gold-producing area, there remains public interest in looking for a gold nuggetor two. Some success has been rumored in the following local areas:
• Middle Fork American River near Michigan Bluff
• South Fork American River north of Chili Bar
• Middle Fork American River west of Volcanoville
• Rock Creek
• Middle Fork Consumnes River east of Nashville
• Any stream 1-2 miles NW of Slab Creek Reservoir
Recreational gold panning is allowed at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park on the east shore of the American River.
The most promising public lands are already under claim and cannot be worked without the claim holder's permission, lest you be claim-jumping.
• Gold Panning Instructions
• Gold Rush Chronicles