Archived documents do not reflect current WDFW regulations or policy and may contain factual inaccuracies.
Regulations and Rules - Mineral Prospecting
Date Published: July 2015
Revised Date: July 13, 2015
Number of Pages: 44
Basic steps for using the Gold and Fish pamphlet
- Print out the pamphlet from this website or request one from a WDFW office.
- Decide where you want to prospect or mine.
- Decide what type of equipment you want to use.
- Find the waterbody in the work time table to see when the location is open for work and if you need a separate, written HPA.
- See if you need to work under "Mineral Prospecting Without Timing Restrictions", "Mineral Prospecting With Timing Restrictions" or "Mineral Prospecting on Ocean Beaches".
- Obtain any additional permits you may need from other agencies before starting work.
- Follow the provisions in the pamphlet.
Obtaining landowners' permission, other permits
Be aware that the Gold and Fish pamphlet satisfies only WDFW's requirements to conduct mineral prospecting or placer mining operations. It does not, however, relieve you of the responsibility of obtaining landowners' permission before prospecting on their property.
In addition, other federal, state, tribal, and local government agencies may have their own requirements that must be met before you can legally prospect or mine in areas under their jurisdiction.
The Gold and Fish pamphlet includes contact information for local jurisdictions and tribal governments that may require permits. Additional information is available from the Governor's Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance at (800) 917-0043.
Alternative types of HPAs
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. The same is true for mineral prospecting or mining activities in marine waters.
You will receive an HPA if WDFW can determine that your proposed activity does not harm fish life. In that case, you must follow the provisions in your HPA and obtain any permits you may need from other agencies before starting work.
Information about required permits other than HPAs is available from the Governor's Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance at (800) 917-0043 or send an email to email@example.com.
Persons with disabilities who need to receive this information in an alternative format or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact Dolores Noyes by phone (360-902-2349), TTY (360-902-2207), or email (firstname.lastname@example.org
). For more information, see https://wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/reasonable_request.html