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Thread: Bertha Creek?

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    Member JimJimmers's Avatar
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    Default Bertha Creek?

    ...I just stopped by Bertha Cr. for a few hours of panning on my way home from fishing the Kenai this weekend....couldn't even get any flour! Has anyone had any luck here?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimJimmers View Post
    ...I just stopped by Bertha Cr. for a few hours of panning on my way home from fishing the Kenai this weekend....couldn't even get any flour! Has anyone had any luck here?

    We've had pretty good luck there. Go upstream of the highway about a hundred yards, on the north side. You'll see where everyone has been digging. Many years ago a couple friends and I spent a week there dredging with a 4" and recovered about an ounce and a half. Several nuggets on bedrock to 3/8". Highbankers could get about a pennyweight a day (more if you are a hard worker), but the forest service is pretty adamant about not digging in the banks these days...

    Marshall/Ak

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    Member JimJimmers's Avatar
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    Took your advice and headed upstream on Bertha (about 100 yds on the other side of the highway). After spending 4 hrs there, we struck out and couldn't even come up with a single speck of gold. Hmmmm?????

    A lot of small loose gravel, but virtually no clay layer to be found in / around the stream bed. (Was I in the complete wrong area????)

    Oh well...

  4. #4

    Default gold

    Haven't been there in years. But n mid 70's I took about an ounce out, maybe a quarter mile upstream from the highway. Use to be a mine there and I worked tailings in the creek with a 3 inch dredge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edd View Post
    Haven't been there in years. But n mid 70's I took about an ounce out, maybe a quarter mile upstream from the highway. Use to be a mine there and I worked tailings in the creek with a 3 inch dredge.
    Is that what that (makeshift) dirt road leads to? It looks pretty steep, but apparently there were tire tracks going up it a ways. (I assume this parallels the creek-?)

  6. #6

    Default gold

    Your assumption is correct. I took a 4 whl drive up back then, Was by there last wek and it looks quite over grown. I would suggest walk it and go from there. There is gold there with lots of work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimJimmers View Post
    Took your advice and headed upstream on Bertha (about 100 yds on the other side of the highway). After spending 4 hrs there, we struck out and couldn't even come up with a single speck of gold. Hmmmm?????

    A lot of small loose gravel, but virtually no clay layer to be found in / around the stream bed. (Was I in the complete wrong area????)

    Oh well...
    What exactly was your method you used for 4 hours? Hand scoop & pan? Shovel, classifier & sluice? Dredging, highbanking? Just wondering, thinking or trying it out.

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    Member JimJimmers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 97Fxds View Post
    What exactly was your method you used for 4 hours? Hand scoop & pan? Shovel, classifier & sluice? Dredging, highbanking? Just wondering, thinking or trying it out.
    Shovel, classifier, then pan...

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    You won't find much (if anything) in the loose gravel and sand down by the creek. The gold is in the bank, about 50' from the stream, on the North side, in really hard-packed and cemented soil. You can't shovel it until you loosen it up with a pick first. We used to shovel it into a bucket, then carry it down to the creek and run it through a sluice. Pennyweight a day still possible. Most of it up in the bank is 1/8", or less, in size...no nuggets, unless you are on bedrock. If you get your paydirt from the holes in the bank, be VERY careful about overhanging boulders that could fall on you...

    Marshall/Ak

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    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    There were a couple of guys just a about 50 yards off the road yesterday running boxes in there, both set up nice not sure what they were coming up with.

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    Bertha is "no power equipment" correct? I mean I hear people talk about dredging in Bertha back in the '80s, but what about highbanking? I thought I read something about "No bank mining, hand tools only".

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    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    Stopped there two weeks ago and spoke with folks, the no power rule and no highbanking was there understanding. There was a USFS vehicle up at the end of the short trail next to the creek, I looked around for him as I thought he might know but could not find him, must have been around and just did not come across the person.

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    We had pulled into the closed campground and walked to the creek. Right where Bertha meets the main creek ( name? ) folks have been undercutting and digging the hell out of the flood area, banks and in the woods. Highbanking tailings piles all around also. This area is BEFORE the bridge... not sure it they are claims or "lets dont get caught" areas, but its been worked. I thought I would ask before I threw up my operation and got busted... what would the fines be???

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    The "main" creek is Granite Creek.

    I've also noticed that the area adjacent to the campground near the confluence with Granit Creek is being heavily worked over. Obviously being done by people who don't know have a clue. The productive area is on the other side of the highway.

    You can use hand tools and "light equipment", which includes up to 4" suction dredges.

    http://www.recminer.com/sites/bertha_creek.htm
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  15. #15

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    Caveat:
    I would NEVER ask an "on-site" USFS employee what the rules are...that's asking for them to start "making up rules" out of thin air as they go along...whatever happens to suit them at the moment. Find out what the rules are before you go, then take a printed copy of same with you. Having a printed copy of what's allowed (or isn't) helps immensely, when or if you are questioned about anything you are doing. I have met rabid anti-miner types in their employment. They are indeed a "service", but IMO it isn't you they serve...


    Marshall/Ak
    "I love my country...it's the government I'm scared of"

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