COLFAX -- Swollen rivers have raised concerns all over California this winter. But for some treasure-hunters, the high water is actually paying off.
Swift-running rivers in the Sierra foothills are dropping new deposits of gold in places where prospectors like to pan.
At the Bear River campground in Colfax, several people could be seen Monday afternoon standing in the water wearing waders and handling gold pans.
At the bottom of those pans, shiny flakes of gold glistened unmistakably. Prospectors say the panning is the best it's been in years because of all the riverbed material that has been deposited from upriver by swift water this season.
The prospectors are not getting rich off the hobby, but at a price near $40 per gram, the gold can add up to some fun money for those who have the patience to pan it out.