Gold and Fish: Rules for Mineral Prospecting and Placer Mining (2nd Edition) (2009)


This document is provided for archival purposes only. Archived documents do not reflect current WDFW regulations or policy and may contain factual inaccuracies.

Category: Mineral Prospecting

Published: April 2009

Pages: 40

This pamphlet includes the mineral prospecting rules under the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) available online at under WACs 220-110-020, -030, -031, -200, -201, -202, and -206. The rules were adopted by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission on November 8, 2008 and are effective April 3, 2009. The rules will remain in effect until modified or rescinded by the Commission.


The 2009 Gold and Fish pamphlet replaces all previous editions and will remain valid until the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) publishes a new edition. The rules contained in it were developed to protect fish and their habitats. This pamphlet serves as your Hydraulic Project Approval (HPA) for the types of mineral prospecting and mining activities described in it. You must follow the rules in the pamphlet1 when you conduct those projects in Washington. These rules do not relieve you from obtaining landowner permission and any other necessary permits before conducting any mineral prospecting activity. You must also follow the rules and regulations of tribal, local, federal, and other Washington state agencies. You may print out the Gold and Fish pamphlet from or request one from a WDFW office.

If you want to conduct mineral prospecting or mining activities at different times or locations, or with different equipment than allowed in this pamphlet, you must apply for a separate, written HPA. You will receive an HPA if WDFW can determine that your proposed activity does not harm fish life.

You may request a written HPA by submitting a complete application to WDFW. The application form is titled �"Joint Aquatic Resources Permit Application” (JARPA). The JARPA and instructions are available online at You can also call the Office of Regulatory Assistance at (800) 917-0043 or (360) 407-7037, or email

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