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The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
September 28, 1983     The Issaquah Press
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September 28, 1983

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First you scoop the gravel and swirl... . . . then pick othe bigger pebbles ...... and search the black sand for a sparkle of gold. Gold! it,s if you can find # by Debbie L. Romano Gold fever is no myth. At the mere mention of gold, a normally sedate, book-loving homebody can turn into the old Miner 49'er incarnate. Tnl it and see how objective you can be., Before giving up a $50,000 a year job, however, note that panning for the glittering mineral is not as easy as it looks in the old movies. In the movies, a grizzled prospector plops down beside a stream, pans for a couple of scenes, then comes up with nuggets the size of small boulders. Leaping on his faithful mule Bessie, cackling maniacally, he starts another gold rush. Don't expect nuggets in the Northwest. The gold found in the Raging River, where many pan, is known as flour gold. It comes in small flakes, most no bigger than the tip of a pin. Some pieces are so small they are impossible to pick up, but at least you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you did indeed find gold. Panning permits are required in Washington. Here is How to Pan For Gold: In one recent panning class, each person was equipped with split-shots, lead fishing weights. This helps you see if you are doing it right. Fresh, full of enthusiasm, fill the pan with sand and begin, The object of the game is to reduce this pan of sand clown to the substance called black sand, wherein lies the gold. If, after the first panful of sand, the split-shot remains in the bottom, you have the tech- nique down. -" Pick out the big rocks. Then, just like in the movies, swirl water in the pan so water and fine debris are washed over the edge. Keep doing this until about half a cup of muck remains. Gently wash away everything that doesn't look like black sand. Once you get this far, it becomes fairly simple to determine whether or not there is gold in the pan. Dip, swirl, dip, swirl. It seems to go on forever. Starting out with so much sand doesn't seem to be a good idea any more. Yet if you dump any sand out, you may lose some gold. It takes about 15 minutes to get through the first pan. It goes faster as you improve. At this rate, you grumble to yourself, it'll take all day. Finally, it appears. Black sand. It's about this time you also realize you missed the rock you meant to sit on and have been sitting in the creek for the past 20 minutes. Oh, well. When you pan your first million, you can buy waterproof pants. Panners lose track of time out there, Every once in a while, others from the group wander by with fresh sand asking the stock question, "Any luck?'" There's one in every crowd, goes the old saying, and so it is with gold panning. There's always one person who finds a decent-sized flake. "The mother lode!" Immediately, everyone heads to the spot where he got his sand. When enthusiasm begins to dim, a new find turns up to excite the imaginations of the others. Gold can be found in certain areas of a river. Obstructions in a stream provide natural traps for gold. In streams where gold is known to be moving today, look. behind obstructions on the floodplain. Gold in the Northwest is usually associated with igneous rocks. Igneous rocks are usually crystalline or have a salt-and- Of course, if you find something like this, you've just made about 50 bucks. RODI SHA LUDLUM PHOTOS -i Just one nugget and I'm set for life. pepper appearance. They often have small holes in them. A stream with the majority of rocks being igneous is one of the best places to look for gold. Soon, the pauses between pans of sand get longer. Your back is screaming for a long soak in a hot tub. Sitting in a creek, bent over a pan for hours, takes the best out of anyone. Arms grow weary of holding the pan. Eyes begin to swirl independently. More and more I admire the old miners and the stamina they must have' had. Yet even when tired, it's not easy to stop. There's always the feeling that maybe if I stayed just a little longer, panned just one more pan of sand, l'd find the flake that would make my fortune. Panning for gold is not a difficult skill to learn. Once you get the basic techniques down, you could con- ceivably pan with an old pie plate. Any metal or plastic gold pan will do. Despite the addition of "riffles" and such in pans, no one's really improved the basic design for thousands of years. With the knowledge that gold is present in the Cascades, armed with the old motto, "Gold is where you find it," and your enthusiasm piqued by the taste of gold acquired on the field trip, it's easy to find yourself eyeing streams and creeks with fevered glances, maybe, you think, just maybe... Salmon If atc00er00 , 00reserves 00ate :r pnzedmso urce The Salmon Hatchery with new rearing ponds out front. As the great natural cooperation of the local nurseries for wild salmon tourism committee, addi- are diminished or destroyed tional improvements are by man's need for more planned. land and more irrigation The Issaquah hatchery water, the role of the ar- produces some three tificial spawning grounds, million Fall Chinook fryand the hatcheries, will con- about one million Coho tinue to grow. yearlings each year. Hatcheries are not un- The Chinook, or "king" common in Washington salmon are thought by State, but to have a modern many as the gourmet eating fish farm so close in town fish. They also grow to be -- right where visitors can the granddaddies of all easily enjoy the spectacle -,salmon in size; some kings -- is a rare and special return to the hatchery thing, weighing 40 pounds. The Issaquah Salmon Coho salmon are the Hatchery is right down- mainstay of the state's town, on Sunset Way. It was recreational fishing in- built there, along Issaquah dustry, and'their higher oil Creek, during the post- content make them ideal Depression recovery days salmon for barbecueing or as a Works Project for smoking. Administration program• The most visible action at Since 1935 it has been a the hatchery begins in the significant addition to the first week or so of Septem- state's program to save the ber, when the first Chinook salmon, and also a major begin to arrive for spawn- object of pride for the city's ing. When they are ready to residents, give up their eggs, they In 1981, the hatchery shine as bright as chrome. received its first major About 5,000 to 7,000 facelift, and upgrading con- Chinook will return to the tinued through late 1982. hatchery. About 12,000 to Now, under the direction of 15,000 Coho will return, a new manager, Rod beginning about two weeks Henderson, andthrough the to a month after the kings Chamber of Commerce offers tourist information The Issaquah Chamber of Commerce office at 24 Front Street N. is open weekdays to welcome the town's visitors. Here you will find more copies of this visitor guide, as well as city maps, brochures about various local businesses and souvenir books and t-shirts. Chamber Manager Sylvia Werkau can answer ques- tions on city activities, give directions and tell you all about Salmon Days. If she doesn't have the answer, she knows who does. The office also has numerous Washington state tourist brochures. The Chamber of Com- merce manager is also available to new business people to answer questions Tourist Information 392-7024 regarding current busi- nesses, business licenses, sign standards, a,ailable re- tail and office space and more. The Chamber of Com- merce, directed by a ten- member board, has about 100 member businesses and a $21,000 annual budget. Main activities include in- itiating the downtown revitalization program, act- ing as a business laison to the city and sponsoring the annual Salmon Days fes- tival and the Miss Issaquah Pageant. begin to trickle in. Visitors in September and October can watch hat- chery employees Hender- son, Jeno Norwood and Carl Johnson milk the huge Chinook and the eight- pound Cohos, which are now bright red-orange, for their eggs and then fertilize them. Chinooks will begin to hatch over the Thanksgiving weekend, and Cohos in mid-January. The Chinook will be released in May as "fry," but the Coho stay at the hatchery's ponds a full 14 months, and are the fish most visitors see in the front of the hatchery, in the ten rearing ponds. While the fish are inside the hatchery building from fertilization till early spring, the fragile nature of the fish makes interior ponds out of bounds for tourists, except Manager Rod Henderson feeds the fry. in very special conditions. But the outside grounds are always open. The rule of thumb, says Johnson, is to keep closed gates closed. Intruders can cause thousands of dollars of damage in just a minute by polluting fish ponds• The state will prosecute violators. Total value of the kinds and the silvers raised on the grounds of the Issaquah hat- chary is about $2 million• --by Terry McLafferty "'IT WILL BE LOVE AT FIRST BITE" When you stop and sample the heavenly food at our Tearoom on Gilman Blvd. If chocolate is the music of love, play on. At least try one of our celestial treats such as Black Forest Cake or a German Chocolate slice. Be one of our early morning "Croissants Lovers" who lingers dreamily over a steaming cup of delicious rich coffee and these French delights. Lunchtime choices include the best sandwiches in town on fresh homemade bread, hearty soups, quiche, piroshki, chef salad and more. A loaf of bread, a glass of wine and thou beside me listening to Bach, Beethoven and Mozart is not bad either honey! After you pick out your rings, when you're planning for that special day; you might consider the fabulous Wedding Cakes that are found at so many of the Eastside's Weddings, created by the Master Decorator, Mr. Michael Holberg. When you finally move into your vine covered condo, you will be happy to know that you can also find a complete selection of freshly baked Apple Strudel, Mountain Breads, Decroated Cakes, Cinnamon Rounds, Pies etc. at our main bakery located at Gilman Square inside Mark-It Foods. And so to sleep, perchance to dream of: Jelly Rolls, Donuts, Bagels and Muffil. Good Night Sweet Prince. Puget 00ound Baking Co. MILLER Since 1888 Bakery - Gilman Square 392-1341 Tearoom - Gilman Blvd. 392-4700