Floodwaters are receding in the Feather River and gold fever is hitting Oroville.
Weeks of raging waters have stirred up mineral deposits in the river bed. Now Prospectors looking to strike it rich.
“There is areas of dirt that haven’t been disturbed in years that were disturbed,” says novice prospector Pete Roja. Gold diggers just like him are staking claim on several flood stricken banks of the Feather River.
The damaged spillway at Oroville Dam mixed with heavy rains acted like a blender in the Feather River: Old gold deposits once buried by mud and sand could have been pulled up from deep crevices.
Rumors of gold have spread and Adventures in Prospecting minors supply is reaping the benefits. “It’s been exciting and chaos all at the same time,” says owner Joey Wilson. Often times when rumors of a gold filled river surface, the first person to strike it rich is the one selling the tools. “All walks of life like to search for gold,” says Wilson.
Adventures in Prospecting is the first stop many novice prospectors.A giant map covers a wall in his shop showing the latest gold strikes. “This is Oroville up here and all these yellow dots represent at least a million dollars on gold strikes,” says Wilson.
The shop keeper can offer tips, tools and locations but finding the gold is up to prospectors. “It’s not easy money but the gold is there,” Wilson said.