State wildlife officials will ask the public for input on suction dredging in state waters at four public meetings, including one in Spokane.
Suction dredge mining uses large, gas-powered vacuums to suck up gravel on the bottom of rivers and streams in search of gold impacting fish spawning areas, rivers and water quality.
At the meetings, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will also invite suggestions on ways to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species by suction dredges used for recreational mining for gold and other minerals, according to a WDFW news release.
In April the WDFW Commission directed the agency to draft new suction dredging rules.
Current state rules allow people to operate a small suction dredge as long as they carry – and follow – the Gold and Fish pamphlet, which outlines state regulations, according to the news release.
The Spokane-area meeting will take place on Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m. at the CenterPlace Regional Event Center Auditorium, 2426 North Discovery Place, Spokane Valley.
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