MONTPELIER, VT – While gold prospecting is a fun summertime activity, the Agency of Natural Resources reminds the public that while anyone can pan for gold by hand, a state permit is required when using a sluice box.
Recently, Environmental Enforcement Officers and Game Wardens made contact with several recreational mineral (gold) prospectors in and around streams in southeastern Vermont. Most prospectors were complying with Vermont law. However, three people were issued Environmental Citations for using sluice boxes in streams without a permit from the agency.
The waiver penalty for an unpermitted sluice for first time offenders is $150. Penalties for other or repeat offenses can be higher. Before heading out, prospectors must have permits for sluice boxes. Annual permits for Vermont residents are $25, non-residents $50. Landowner permission is also required, and suction dredging is prohibited.
To apply for sluice box permit, contact the agency’s DEC Watershed Management Division at 802-490-6195. More information and downloadable forms are available at the DEC’s website or: http://dec.vermont.gov/sites/dec/files/permit-handbook/sheet32_2.pdf