Emergency Suction Dredge Regulations


SCH Number
Public Agency
Fish & Game #4
Document Title
Emergency Suction Dredge Regulations
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Document Description
Pursuant to authority found in Section 5653.9 of the Fish and Game Code, the Department adopted regulations governing its suction dredge permitting process in 1994. Before issuing the 1994 regulations, the Department completed an Environmental Impact Report pursuant to CEQA describing the activity of suction dredging and its impacts. Summarized briefly, suction dredging is a method of mining gold in which sand and gravel from the bottom of a river are drawn through an intake nozzle, up a suction hose, and through a gold recovery system that uaually consists of an open sluice box or enclosed trays equipped with steel baffles known as riffles. Suction dredging occurs in many rivers throughout California, but use is concentrated in the rivers of the Klamath Basin and North Coast or in the Sacramento-San Joaquin watersheds on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada.

Contact Information

Brendan Fletcher
Agency Name
Department of Fish and Game
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency


Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
Class 7, (14 CCR Section 15307)
Reasons for Exemption
Unregulated suction dredging can potentially result in deleterious and sometimes significant adverse impacts to: (a) benthic (bottom dwelling) and/or invertebrate communities, (b) fish and fish eggs and fry, (c) other aquatic or riparian dependent plant and animal species, (d) channel morphology which includes the bed, bank, channel, and flow of streams and rivers, (e) water quality and quantity, and (f) riparian habitat adjacent to streams and rivers.

Disclaimer: The document was originally posted before CEQAnet had the capability to host attachments for the public. To obtain the original attachments for this document, please contact the lead agency at the contact information listed above. You may also contact the OPR via email at state.clearinghouse@opr.ca.gov or via phone at (916) 445-0613.

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