Gold prospecting in Maine is open year round for panning and slucing or also known as non-motorized. Motorized prospecting is from June 15 till September 15. Land owner permission is mandatory. Here is some of the basic Maine laws and regulation. Since we are not lawyers, please don't hold us responsible if we missed some obscure regulation hidden in fine print in the back of a book sitting on a dust covered shelf in the basement of some government building.
Prospecting for gold in is under the jursidiction of the State of Maine's Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Land Use Planning Commission (LURC).
We'll paraphrase the regs:
1. Motorized recreational gold prospecting may be conducted within the normal high water marks of flowing waters except as noted.
2. Motorized recreational gold prospecting not in conformance with the standards of Section 10.27, G requires a permit.
3. Motorized recreational gold prospecting may only be performed from June 15 to September 15.
4. Motorized equipment must not exceed 7 horsepower.
5. Nozzle and hose size not to exceed 4".
6. Sluice area must not exceed 10 square feet.
7. No disturbing the bank, including digging in the bank or causing the bank to erode or collapse.
8. No removal of vegetation or roots wads, stumps or logs including cutting or abrasion of trees.
9. No dams that divert or obstructs a stream.
10. No depositing tailings onto the banks.
11. Fill in you holes when you are finished prospecting.
There are some rivers and streams that are closed to motorized prospecting. They have been designated as Essential Wildlife Habitat by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
For a complete list of rules and closed rivers please checkout the Maine.gov website and lookup LUPC. Go to Chapter 10, Section G (it starts on page 245).
Failure to comply to the rules and regs of Maine could result in loss of equipment, a fine and could even have to pay for the resturation of the site. Worst yet, we could lose the right to prospect.