About 5 mile from my house is the Feather river. This river has quite a mining history. Here is a link to a very interesting article about mining on the river just above the town of Oroville. The location where this took place is about 15 miles from my house.
I have been going down to this river right by my house and doing a little prospecting. The gold in this area is very fine, and to my surprise there is still a fair amount. This river was worked with bucket dredges in the early 1900's. The section of river where I have been going is basically in the middle of a tailings pile, and I'm still finding gold.
Working on the bank of a large river does have its limitations. I am in a wildlife reserve so I don't think I can run a highbanker, there is no place to setup a sluice, the water is to deep, so your pretty much limited to panning.
In the last 3 trips to the river I have managed to find .3 grams, not a lot of gold. But when you consider it is in the middle of winter and the drive is 5 minutes from the house, I think that's a pretty good take.
We are suppose to have some warmer storms come in next week. If they do, it might melt off enough snow in the lower levels to allow us to get a little ways up the hills. If that happens, we may be able to get to some larger gold, that is if the river hasn't gotten to high.