Gold prospecting at Doc Rogers Field:
With the price of gold going over $1000 and staying there for over a year, Doc Rogers Field has been over worked due to so many people coming out to pan, sluice and dredge, in such a small area.
Please look for alternate places to go, as the rangers are considering closing Doc Rogers Down for a few years to let it heal back up, from the over use, and abuse. I say abuse, because there are people out there, that just don't care what the rules say. They do what they want... leaving trash all around, digging into the banks, digging on dry land, etc.. and it is really looking bad now days.
The lower end of Coker Creek offers panning and sluicing, and has over 7 miles of creek in Polk County available to prospect. Please consider going there, or to some of the many other creeks in the Monroe, and Polk county areas, instead of Doc Rogers Field, and let's give the place a rest.
If you are panning or sluicing, find an area that looks like it will be good... look for a dredger's hole in the area.
Once you find the dredge hole, see if you see any clay layers at the edge of the hole. Dig around with your shovel until you find the clay. It is anywhere from 6 to 12 inches deep for the first layer.
Once you find this clay layer, start prospecting. Shovel the gravel just above and perhaps up to an inch into the clay. No deeper or you will just get clay... You should find fine gold in a hard packed grey layer just above the clay.
I have done quite well, just following a clay layer from the side of someone's dredge hole. Working from a dredge hole makes it a lot easier to find and follow than if you had to come down from the top. It is much easier to shovel that way.
Also, Doc Rogers Field is closed to dredging for several months through hunting season until spring - 6 months total. During this time, the creek replenishes itself with gold for the next season!
It is open for dredging and sluicing from
May 1 thru November 1.
As for dredging and sluicing, all other forest area waters are open year round, and are listed on the dredge permit from the Tellico Ranger station.
TN Gold Co.