The unusually high snow runoff into Sierra streams has brought back an activity that first became popular in the area back in the 1800s.
Panning for gold!
The flowing water has pushed gold from the mountains into the streams creating a mini gold rush. One of the most popular areas to pan for gold is Marshall Gold Discovery State Park in Coloma. The first gold nugget was discovered there in 1850. More and more of them are being found today.
Scientists have figured that only about 15% of all the gold that exists in California has been discovered, which is why panning is growing in popularity.
The price of gold in 1850 was $20 an ounce. Today it’s worth a bit more than $1,900. A successful day of panning today can pull in about $80 worth of gold.