October Dredging in Clear Creek Click on pictures for a full sized view

In case some of the previous pages have convinced you to leave your dredge at home next time you come to Colorado, not all Colorado dredging is in the snow and ice. Even these pictures can be deceiving though as the fall water temperature was 30 degrees. Cold water dredging can be fun though if you are equipped properly.

Sometimes dredging really draws a crowd

Here a 5" Keene triple sluice is at work in Clear Creek about 15 miles to the west of Denver, Colorado. As you can see by the vehicles, the road is located very close to the water. This is really welcome when using a larger dredge such as the 5". Carrying the 8HP motor, pump, and air compressor as one unit is a job for someone younger than I am. A group of spectators can be seen on the far side of the creek. The Gold Prospectors of the Rockies have over 400 members and any weekend activity near Denver will usually attract a few interested spectators from the club.

Dredge behind large rock

Working behind a big boulder

We have selected the downstream side of a large boulder to work. The dredge owner is hard at work at the suction nozzle. There is a large bar of rocks showing that have accumulated due to the rock slowing down the current during spring runoff. At the height of the snow meltdown, the water will completely cover the large rock to the left of the picture and on the other side of the creek and will be 10 or more feet higher than shown. At that time, the creek will be closed for all forms of water recreation.

Here the diver is shown at work. When wearing a wet suit, a diver has a tendency to float. It is extremely comfortable to work in this position floating and reaching down to run the suction nozzle.

Diver at work

The water isn't very clear in October

This is a fairly normal float level when not wearing a weight belt. It takes about 45-60 pounds of weight to "sink" a 200-240 pound person. If this was a picture of me, I could make a comment about "blubber" floating and being hard to sink, but since this is the president of the GPOR's club I won't say that. Notice the water color. Remember this is "Clear Creek". Certain times of the year the water gets murky and it is impossible to see more than a few feet under the water.

October Clear Creek Dredging (continued)

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