Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

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There were 16 questions found in this category:

  1. Do I need a permit to prospect for minerals or placer mine in Washington?
    Yes. In passing Chapter 77.55 RCW, the Washington State Legislature gave Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) the authority to regulate anyone who “desires to construct any form of hydraulic project or perform other work that will use, divert, obstruct, or change the natural f ...
  2. Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission has adopted rules that allow prospecting on ocean beaches. Do I need a permit from Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife?
    Yes. The rules adopted by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission allowing certain beach prospecting activities are in addition to WDFW's permitting requirements. Because prospecting in marine waters is not covered by the Gold and Fish pamphlet, you must apply for, and be issued, an ...
  3. What types of permit(s) do I need?
    Before conducting small scale mineral prospecting or placer mining activities where waters of the state will be affected, you must obtain a Hydraulic Project Approval (HPA) issued by WDFW. Two types of HPAs are available: the Gold and Fish pamphlet and an individual written HPA. The pamphlet aut ...
  4. What is the fee for the Gold and Fish pamphlet or for a written permit for mineral prospecting?
    The Gold and Fish pamphlet and written permits for mineral prospecting are exempt from the $150 HPA application fee, and therefore are free of charge.
  5. Which type of HPA is best for me?
    The Gold and Fish pamphlet lists the rules that you must follow when you conduct certain typical small scale mineral prospecting or placer mining activities, and also authorizes the activities it describes. So if you can follow the location, timing, equipment, and method restrictions listed in ...
  6. How can I get an HPA?
    The Gold and Fish pamphlet is available free at the WDFW website. No application is required to obtain the pamphlet; you may print it out and use it right away. If you do not have Internet access, you may request a printed pamphlet from WDFW headquarters or a WDFW regional office. If you want ...
  7. How long does it take to get an individual HPA?
    Once WDFW receives your complete application, we have 45 days to issue or deny an HPA, unless we can’t get to your project site for inspection, we can’t contact you, or you request a delay in processing.
  8. Can I appeal the provisions or timing in my individual HPA if I don’t like it? Can I appeal WDFW’s decision to deny my individual HPA?
    Yes, you can appeal the provisions or timing in your individual HPA or the denial of your individual HPA. It is best to begin by contacting the department employee who issued the HPA or denial and discussing your concerns with him or her. If you decide to go forward with an appeal, we must rece ...
  9. Do I have to have the Gold and Fish pamphlet or individual HPA with me when I am mineral prospecting or placer mining?
    It depends on what methods you are using. When you are using certain small types of mineral prospecting equipment and are working under the Mineral Prospecting Without Timing Restrictions chapter in the Gold and Fish pamphlet, you are not required to have the pamphlet with you or on the job sit ...
  10. Does each person in my family (or club or group) need a separate copy of the Gold and Fish pamphlet or individual HPA?
    Sometimes. If all of the people in the group are working at the same job site, and a pamphlet is on the job site, it covers everyone. If the group is divided up and working more than one job site, then at least one pamphlet must be at each job site.
  11. Do I need a water right to prospect or placer mine?
    In some cases, yes. Removing water from state waters for any beneficial use, including highbanking and other mineral prospecting and placer mining activities that take water from the stream channel, requires a water right issued by Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) before you start work ...
  12. I am a claim holder. The 1872 Mining Law allows me to prospect and mine on public land. Do I still have to follow the Gold and Fish pamphlet or a written HPA?
    Yes. Chapter 77.55 RCW authorizes WDFW to regulate activities that will use, divert, obstruct, or change the natural flow or bed of any of the salt or fresh waters of the state. Nothing in the 1872 Mining Law prohibits the state from exercising its legal authority to protect the state’s fi ...
  13. After I get all my permits, can I prospect or mine anywhere I want to?
    No. You must follow the location restrictions outlined in the Gold and Fish pamphlet or individual HPA. Not all waters of the state are always open to prospecting or mining. In addition, HPAs issued by WDFW or permits issued by other agencies do not authorize trespass on public or private proper ...
  14. How do I find out who owns or is a claim holder of the land where I want to prospect?
    Private property information can typically be obtained from counties and the U.S. BLM. WDFW does not maintain records of property owners or claim holders.
  15. What does “Submit Application” mean in the work timing table of the Gold and Fish pamphlet?
    Waters listed as “Submit Application” may be able to withstand some prospecting or mining activity, but are too sensitive to allow it without individual review of your application by a WDFW biologist. You must submit an HPA application to request authorization to work in these waters ...
  16. Do I need a permit to go rockhounding?
    Rockhounding activities are not addressed or authorized by the rules outlined in the Gold and Fish pamphlet. If you will be rockhounding in a way that will use, divert, obstruct, or change the natural flow or bed of any of the salt or fresh waters of the state, you must first obtain an individua ...