Suction Dredge Mining Threatens California’s Streams & Rivers
Suction dredge operations use gas powered pumps to suck up water and gravel through a hose to sort out gold.
As Dr. Peter Moyle points out, suction dredge operations can harm fish, especially endangered steelhead and salmon. Impacts include disturbance of spawning gravels, directly sucking small fish and invertebrates through the pump, and resuspending mercury — trapped in the gravel from past mining operations — back into streams.
AB120 will help control these negative impacts to steelhead and salmon by requiring that Fish and Game adopt and implement regulations that mitigate all significant water quality, wildlife and cultural/historical impacts.
You can see CalTrout’s comments on the recently released Environmental Impact Report on suction dredging here.
Suction Dredge Mining Costs Taxpayers Money
It costs the state far more to administer the suction dredge mining program than permit fees bring in; AB120 requires Fish & Game to adopt a fee structure that pays for the agency’s cost of administering and enforcing mining regulations.
If AB120 is signed into law — and Fish and Game fails to meet these two requirements — the agency is prohibited from adopting regulations or issuing mining permits for five years.
Click here to tell Governor Brown to sign A.B. 120 — protecting our rivers, streams and drinking water from this destructive mining practice.