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Legal public panning near Yuma, AZ

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#1 SwarmMaster

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 10:37 PM

Good evening all, I'm in Yuma AZ for a week and find myself with some spare time to kill. I've never prospected before so I'm completely new to this. I was considering attempting some recreational panning but after hours of searching online I cannot find any clear information on where I can legally do so without having access to BLM claim maps. As I understand it public lands free of marked claims can be prospected with hand tools.

Can anyone tell me if there is a public national park area near Yuma where I could legally try my hand at this? Are there any sort of broadly defined areas where the public can pan without having to scrutinize claim maps? Is this concept itself completely of base? I'd rather not face a fine or fight when I'm just out to have some fun for a few hours.

Thanks for any help you can offer this visiting newbie!

#2 DesertNuggets

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 11:23 PM

I'm not sure where to go in Yuma but National Parks are 100% off limits. What you want is BLM land or a National Forest.

#3 SwarmMaster

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 09:01 PM

Thank you for the clarification, DesertNuggets. I actually found that the Yuma BLM office is very close by so I was able to stop there today and purchase one of their maps showing BLM lands. Oddly enough the clerk said they did not have updated claim maps available for me and instead suggested that I just watch for marked claims and avoid them. Good advice but it seems like the official BLM office of all places should be able to provide me with that information.

In any case I will see what I can find near the Imperial Dam in CA as I see there were a few historical mines operating in that area. I thought that the Languna Mnts might be a viable spot to try but after an adventurous trip along the Gila Gravity River to scope it out it looks like that area is better suited to an ATV.

#4 Gilaoro



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Posted 16 November 2011 - 06:02 AM

I used to live in Yuma and I know of no public panning area along the river, the Imperial dam area on he AZ side is entiley off limits as it is either private or state. The area on the CA side is either claimed or Indian res or military, you definatley do not want to be caught on either one both of them are liable to take your gear. It takes the the secuity about 10 minutes to locate you no matte where you are, that part of AZ makes it hard to prospect. The water you see is mostly in canals, the actual river beds are usually dy and planted in wheat.

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