Author Topic: General Prospecting rules  (Read 4276 times)

Rich Robinson

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General Prospecting rules
« on: June 12, 2015, 01:22:20 AM »
Here are the basic rules for prospecting on the Coker Creek GPAA property under the Individual ARAP. There are a few chapter rules in addition to the rules listed in the IP. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

Richard

Class 1 Special Conditions:
This class covers non-mechanized forms of prospecting including, but not limited to: panning,
sluicing, crevicing, sucker-tubing, hand tools such as small gardening shovels, #2 shovels and
other improvised hand tools. In addition to the General Requirements, the following
requirements apply to this class of prospecting activities:
1. Written permission shall be obtained from the landowner prior to any prospecting.
2. Class 1 prospecting shall not occur in any stream reach with a wetted width of less than
five (5) feet at the spot of the activity.
3. Disturbance or destabilization of stream banks is prohibited. All digging activities shall
be conducted at least one (1) foot from the water's edge on the day of the activity. In
areas where the stream bank is solid bedrock, deposited material closer than 1 foot to the
water's edge may be removed by the use of sucker tubes or other crevicing tools provided
that special condition (11) is not violated.
4. The use of pry bars, chisels, wedges, shovels, etc. to break layers of bedrock is not
permitted. Loose rock may be moved and returned to its original position but competent
bedrock shall not be disturbed.
5. Hand operated tools no larger than a #2 shovel may be used to excavate material.
6. All reject material shall remain in the stream, replaced to mimic original conditions.
Concentrates may be removed for later, off-site, processing.
7. Panning activities shall maintain a distance of seventy-five (75) feet between dig sites as
measured along the stream channel. More than one pan may be in use at a given dig site.
8. Sluices shall maintain a distance of one hundred (100) feet between installations as
measured along the stream channel. More than one sluice may be in use at a given
installation site.
9. Sluice dams shall be constructed so that upstream/downstream boat, or other recreational
access, is not obstructed.
10. All sluice dams shall be broken down daily and the disturbed stream substrate returned as
close to its original location as possible.
11. No objectionable color contrast, or plume, shall be visible in the stream greater than three
hundred (300) feet downstream of the prospecting activities. No visible solids shall be
deposited on the streambed downstream of the prospecting activities.

Class 2 Special Conditions
This class covers mechanized forms of prospecting including, but not limited to: dredges,
highbankers, powered sluices, and trommels. In addition to the General Requirements, the
following requirements apply to this class of prospecting activities:
1. Written permission shall be obtained from the landowner prior to any prospecting.
2. All operations must take place in-stream. Operating on stream banks or in the floodplain
is not allowed.
3. Operations shall not be conducted within 18 inches of the water's edge. In areas where
the stream bank is solid bedrock, deposited material closer than 2 feet to the water's edge
may be removed by mechanized methods provided that special condition 4 (below) is not
violated.
4. The use of pry bars, chisels, wedges, shovels, etc. to break layers of bedrock is not
permitted. Loose rock may be moved and returned to its original position but competent
bedrock shall not be disturbed.
5. Dredge size shall be no greater than 3 inches. Dredge size refers to nozzle diameter.
Dredges larger than 2 inches must use a classifier over the nozzle intake.
6. Pump engines shall not exceed eight "8" horsepower.
7. All engines shall be equipped with a muffler and spark arrestor.
8. All operations shall maintain a distance of two hundred (200) feet between sites as
measured along the stream channel. Only one mechanized form of prospecting may be in
use at a given site. An exception to the spacing requirement may be granted for periodic,
special events such as public demonstrations or festivals. A written request describing the
activity, the desired spacing and specifying the date(s) on which the event will occur shall
be submitted to the Division of Water Resources no less than thirty (30) days prior to the
event. Written approval of the exception (issued by the division) is required to be on site
during the event.
9. The permit number shall be prominently displayed on any in-stream equipment, using
two (2) inch or larger characters and numbers.
10. All fueling or servicing operations shall be performed at least twenty-five (25) feet away
from the stream or wetlands. Propane powered equipment is excluded from the fueling
requirement.
11. Blaster nozzles may only be used underwater.
12. Operations shall not be conducted within fifty (50) feet of any bridge supports, other road
crossings, weirs, docks, ramps or other public and private structures.
13. No objectionable color contrast, or plume, shall be visible in the stream greater than three
hundred (300) feet downstream of the equipment discharge. No visible solids shall be
deposited on the streambed downstream of the dredging operation.
14. Operations shall be conducted so that upstream/downstream boat, or other recreational
access, is not obstructed.

General Conditions:
1. The work shall be accomplished in conformance with the accepted plans, specifications, data
and other information submitted in support of the application and the limitations,
requirements and conditions set forth herein.
2. Work shall not commence until the applicant has received the federal 404 permit from the
U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, a 26a permit from the Tennessee Valley Authority or
authorization under a Tennessee NPDES Storm Water Construction Permit where necessary.
The applicant is responsible for obtaining these permits.
3. Appropriate steps shall be taken to ensure that petroleum products or other chemical
pollutants are prevented from entering waters of the state. All spills must be reported to the
appropriate emergency management agency, and measures shall be taken immediately to
prevent the pollution of waters of the state, including groundwater, should a spill occur.
4. All work shall be carried out in such a manner as will prevent violations of water quality
criteria as stated in Rule 1200-4-3-.03 of the Rules of the Tennessee Department of
Environment and Conservation. This includes, but is not limited to, the prevention of any
discharge that causes a condition in which visible solids, bottom deposits, or turbidity
impairs the usefulness of waters of the state for any of the uses designated by Rule 1200-4-4.
These uses include fish and aquatic life (including trout streams and naturally reproducing
trout streams), livestock watering and wildlife, recreation, irrigation, industrial water supply,
domestic water supply, and navigation.
5. Adverse impact to formally listed federal threatened or endangered species or their critical
habitat or state listed threatened or endangered species or species deemed in need of
management is prohibited.
6. This permit does not authorize adverse impacts to cultural, historical, or archeological
features or sites.

« Last Edit: June 12, 2015, 08:56:55 AM by Chuck Pharis »
Former Tennessee State Director rrobinson1791@gmail.com
615-587-3397

Lynns

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Re: General Prospecting rules
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2015, 08:22:02 AM »
I haven't been on since January, and just now getting ready to do some panning.  Do we still need to get a permit?  Can we still get it at the Coker creek visitors center?  I definitely do not want to be illegal when I am out in the creeks.

Chuck Pharis

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Re: General Prospecting rules
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2015, 09:01:38 AM »
Hi, right now you do not need a permit to do Class 1 prospecting in Tennessee on most public land. The General regulations are posted on this forum. The Tellico Rangers Permit is no longer valid and not available.
The new GPAA ARAP Permit only applies to our Coker Creek GPAA leased property for now. You need to be a GPAA member to use that ARAP Permit on our property.
Soon there will be a new General State Prospecting Permit available to everyone. We will post that information here ASAP. It might be out on July 1st.
For now, go out and find some gold. Just do not dig within 12" of the banks and fill in your holes.
Chuck
Chuck Pharis
East Tennessee Coker Creek GPAA Chapter President (June 19, 2010 to June 20, 2015)  Member of the Board Of Directors.
GPAA Lifetime member, Former LDMA[/size]

Making Rock Soup

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Re: General Prospecting rules
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2015, 10:56:50 AM »
This seems the most logical place to ask this question.  Also for it's answer to be posted.  Does anyone have a list of the creeks / streams / rivers for the state of Tennessee that dredging is allowed in?  The reason I ask this is because you are also obviously permitted to pan in these.  I am having a bit of trouble locating which are allowable in the areas that I live in.  Which is a bit far from the Coker Creek & Tellico areas.   I once saw a reference to being able to pan in the Ocoee Ranger District, but I had previously been on their park section website, & it then looked non-permitted.  Can anyone help me with information regarding past permissible waterways to allow me a headstart on panning areas that are legal.  I believe the TDEC offers one, just you would save me a trip to thier local office.  It seems to be within a mile from my home though.  Call me lazy.  lol   It is just I dislike asking local offices questions they are not familiar with, & stirring up their fears.

Making Rock Soup

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Re: General Prospecting rules
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2015, 04:54:32 PM »
By careful study of the "General Permit for Recreational Prospecting" under portion titled "General Conditions" located on page 4, references to several law Rules:  One of which was Rule 0400-40-04 which led me to this list of the details of these Rulings (from which the original permit itself is formed) in order to comply with them.
I found a familiarity with these Rules gave me a greater understanding of where the Rangers are with regards to Recreational Prospecting.  When we are within the Rules, they see us as doing no damage at all or so extremely minimal as to be insignificant.  We are to them a welcome and legitimate Recreational Activity in our state and federal waters.
Here is that link:
http://www.state.tn.us/sos/rules/0400/0400-40/0400-40.htm

The "General Permit for Recreational Prospecting" under portion titled "General Conditions" located on page 4, also contains under this listing a further detailed list of: "Use Classifications For Surface Waters." 
This list shows those waters defined by uses: "Recreational,"  any water termed "Recreational," is deemed obviously for "Recreational Uses" this should reasonably include Recreational Prospecting.  So, I offer you this list to consider.  Keep in mind some of the other 'designations' may cause some types of 'recreation' to be limited.  Most of these waters have many multiple designations. 
FAL - Fish and Aquatic Life
REC - Recreation
LWW - Livestock Watering and Wildlife
IRR - Irrigation
NAV - Navigation
IWS - Industrial Water Supply
DOM - Domestic Water Supply
TS - Trout Stream
NRTS - Naturally Reproducing Trout Stream
Now these lists may not help out in locating anything other than Class 1 Prospecting waterways.  But I hope this helps some of you out there identify more places that may be permissible.
It is a 40 page state pdf document. 
The "Lower Tennessee River Basin" is located on pages 11, 12, 13, & 14.
The "Upper Tennessee River Basin" is located on pages 15, 16, 17 & 18.
Here is the link:
http://www.state.tn.us/sos/rules/0400/0400-40/0400-40-04.20131216.pdf
« Last Edit: July 07, 2015, 05:03:02 PM by Making Rock Soup »

DGurley

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Re: General Prospecting rules
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2015, 07:42:13 AM »
Have they ever made a call on Prospecting at Lower CC? What I want to know can we go Prospecting down there at this time like right now.
Thank You
David Gurley

Rich Robinson

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Re: General Prospecting rules
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2015, 11:54:54 PM »
Dave ,
You can prospect at Lower Coker Creek with class 1 equipment only for now. The only limitation at this point that has been confirmed is no #2 shovels. This is only until there is a determination about final rules from the OGC at the dept of the interior...
Richard
Former Tennessee State Director rrobinson1791@gmail.com
615-587-3397

Haleyes

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Re: General Prospecting rules
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2015, 01:15:30 AM »
Rich can you define #2 shovel? handle length blade size or both.

DGurley

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Re: General Prospecting rules
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2015, 06:56:41 AM »
Thank you Richard I hope it takes them a long time to make the final rule that way we got 2 creeks to play in right now that has gold in them.

 ::)

David Gurley

s.knox38

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Re: General Prospecting rules
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2015, 10:07:40 AM »
The #2 is blade size this should be marked on shovel in metal near handle

Titaniumminer

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Re: General Prospecting rules
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2016, 09:19:38 AM »
I agree, if they would just open the gates, I think I could make 2 or 3 thousand a month. Man I am going to see tons of gold . Excited.

skunkass

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Re: General Prospecting rules
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2016, 10:37:50 AM »
I agree, if they would just open the gates, I think I could make 2 or 3 thousand a month. Man I am going to see tons of gold . Excited.
:o
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