Now the lowdown on the State’s FAKE INFO, designed to keep more people off the waterways. Read the bottom half of this news item for the real code language!
Suction Dredge Permits
The use of vacuum or suction dredge equipment, otherwise known as suction dredging, is currently prohibited and unlawful throughout California.
Under new state law effective January 1, 2016, the use of vacuum or suction dredge equipment is defined to mean the use of a mechanized or motorized system for removing or assisting in the removal of, or the processing of, material from the bed, bank, or channel of a river, stream, or lake in order to recover minerals.
Under existing state law the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is also currently prohibited from issuing any permits for suction dredging in California under the Fish and Game Code.
With state law in effect, the use of vacuum or suction dredge equipment, otherwise known as suction dredging, is unlawful in California rivers, streams, and lakes, and any such activity is subject to enforcement and prosecution as a criminal misdemeanor.
(See generally Fish & G. Code, §§ 5653, 5653.1, 12000, subd. (a).)
Mining Activity Not Currently Prohibited by the Moratorium
The ongoing statutory moratorium established by Fish and Game Code section 5653.1 prohibits some, but not all forms of mining in and near California rivers, streams, and lakes.
Individuals engaged or interested in otherwise lawful in-stream mining should be aware that other environmental laws may apply to these various other mining practices. Fish and Game Code section 5650, for example, prohibits the placement of materials deleterious to fish, including sand and gravel from outside of the current water level, into the river or stream. Further, Fish and Game Code section 1602 requires that any person notify the Department before substantially diverting or obstructing the natural flow of, or substantially changing or using any material from the bed, channel or bank of any river, stream or lake. See additional related information.
The information in bold print above DOES NOT reflect the actual language of the Fish & Game code
“(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), it is unlawful to deposit in, permit to pass into, or place where it can pass into the waters of this state any of the following:
(1) Any petroleum, acid, coal or oil tar, lampblack, aniline, asphalt, bitumen, or residuary product of petroleum, or carbonaceous material or substance.
(2) Any refuse, liquid or solid, from any refinery, gas house, tannery, distillery, chemical works, mill, or factory of any kind.
(3) Any sawdust, shavings, slabs, or edgings.
(4) Any factory refuse, lime, or slag.
(5) Any cocculus indicus.
(6) Any substance or material deleterious to fish, plant life, mammals, or bird life.”
There you have it, the existing code. Now if PLP’s proposed legislation gets into the Federal code, the State will not have jurisdiction over dredging on Federally managed land. Help us get over the goal line! Join PLP today!