Winter at the Golden Optimist

Dredgeing tends to wind down a little and the work is performed in shallower water. Floating dredges are not useable unless you want to remove a large area of ice. Panners gloves and insulated chest waders can keep you dry and warm. As long as you stay dry, it can be an enjoyable day as witnessed by the smile on this dredger's face. A little water in the wrong places can make the day long and miserable.




When the creek is frozen solid, finding a place to set the sluice box can be a problem. Look for a place where the water drops quickly like a small waterfall and break the ice there. By sliding the nose of the box into the hole the water flow can be adjusted even more easily than in the summer.
Work this time of the year will be harder and not as many buckets will be processed per day. Even when not getting as much gold as in the summer, just getting away from the house makes it all worth while.

When the weather warms up to around 45 degrees, winter work can be really enjoyable if you have the "proper" attitude. If you are in an area which permits a fire, cold hands and feet can be warmed up quickly.

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