Hello, this is Dale Carnagey. I am a rock hound and a prospector. I have been a gold dredger and a member of the New 49’ers for several years. I spend a lot of my time in Siskiyou County each year prospecting and dredging. Those who know me, know that I enjoy the prospecting as much or more than I do the actual mining. Because of this, Jason Inks has asked me to make a few observations about the claims he has for sale.
I have spent a lot of time prospecting over the Klamath River. I have read a lot of the local mining history and have talked with other miners about this area. I can tell you that these claims Jason has available right now are on some of the best ground in Siskiyou County.
This stretch of the lower Klamath is very rich! I have read a very early report on mining in the area that told of one of the first panning operations near Orleans. Those miners were panning, yes panning, eleven ounces of gold per day per man! Later on, an amazing amount of hydraulic mining was done along these stretches of river and thousands of ounces of gold were recovered from the benches during these operations. If you walk these claims today you will see huge piles of rocks that were moved during that early production. To the best of my knowledge there was very little mining, if any, of the actual river bottom in these canyon areas. The bench deposits were so rich and the technical problems to divert the river were so great that they didn’t bother with the river channel. Even when the big bucket line dredges were operating they did not dredge the Klamath upriver of the town of Orleans. I have a friend who no longer lives in the area, who was one of the very first suction dredgers on the Klamath River. From what I have learned from him, I believe this section of the Klamath has never been dredged with modern methods! In all my years in the area, I have never seen any suction dredges on this stretch of the Klamath River. If I had the chance you can bet I would jump to get my dredge in there!
Some of these lower Klamath claims are very long claims. There are also some great shorter claims. Long claims like this present a great opportunity for modern dredgers. The lower Klamath, upriver of Orleans, is very winding. There are many bends and natural riffles for high-grade gold deposits to form behind. The highbanking is incredible in this area as well. I know of people (friends of Craig Colt) who were highbanking up to three ounces of gold per day on one of these claims! Any one of these claims would keep me in good gold for the rest of my life!
Anywhere hard-packed streambed material is left in place on the benches can be a bonanza for modern highbanking. All the major storms in the hundred or so years since the hydraulic mining days, have washed gold into the river to form rich deposits. I know because I have dredged in them on the Klamath and have recovered some of the most beautiful nuggets I have ever seen. The incredible amount of flood gold in the Klamath River forms into deposits in some places that can be recovered year after year in the same spot. I have seen virgin material sitting on bedrock in places where the oldtimers in their haste had piled their cobbles on top of good pay dirt. This virgin material is waiting to be mined.
All in all I would have to say that these are some of the best available claims anywhere.
Dale Carnagey Prospector/Dredger
“R.I.P. Dale. You were a dear friend and an inspirational mining partner. You were perhaps the hardest working man I ever met. I will look for you on the other side of the river in a good pay streak and I will throw rocks with you again.” Jason