Gold Prospecting in Wisconsin
Wisconsin, as with most of the nearby states, just doesn’t have enough gold to be of any interest to commercial mining interests. That said, the recreational prospector can find smaller placer deposits in streams and rivers throughout the state.
Glacial gold has always been ground down into extremely fine dust, generally referred to as flour gold, and this is not the place to expect nuggets. But you can find gold is almost all the waters in Wisconsin, so pan carefully anywhere you would expect gold to settle in the creeks.
Also Read: Do You Need Water to Find Gold?
In Pierce County, panners have had good luck in Plum Creek. Also don’t forget to check out the beaches of Lake Superior.
There is quite a bit of lode gold, but it has not been commercially profitable, since the ore is low grade and the cost of extraction would be high.
The state of Wisconsin does not require any permits for sluice boxes and panning, but of course you will have to get permission for private land prospecting, and disturb the land as little as possible. You would need permits for motorized equipment.
Although there has been interest recently in the gold found in association with iron ore, gold will never be anything but a by-product of mining for silver, lead, zinc and copper.