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Regulatory Handbook -> Aquatic Resource Permits -> Beach Prospecting

Beach Prospecting

What is the Purpose of this Permit?
Rules adopted by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission allow certain beach prospecting activities in addition to the Department of Fish and Wildlife's (WDFW's) permitting requirements. Because prospecting in marine waters is not covered by the Gold and Fish pamphlet, you must apply for, and be issued, an individual HPA to legally prospect on ocean beaches.
Who Issues this Permit?
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
What Activities Require this Permit?
Mineral prospecting using equipment listed on the application, and in the following Seashore Conservation Areas:
  • Between Cape Disappointment and Leadbetter Point.
  • Between Toke Point and the South jetty on Point Chehalis.
  • Between Damon Point and the mouth of the Copalis River.
  • Between the mouth of the Copalis River and the southern border of the Quinault Indian Reservation.
How Much Will this Permit Cost?
No cost. Mineral prospecting and mining projects are exempt from HPA application fees.
Where Can I Get the Application for this Permit?
The application which is called 'Ocean Beach Mineral Prospecting Hydraulic Project Approval' is online and can be accessed at
Do I Need to Include Anything with my Application?
The application must include your signature and the date you signed the application. If you email the application, you will first need to print, sign, and scan it back to the computer. You can then email the scanned application to
Is the Decision on my Permit Dependent on Anything Besides the Information in my Application?
If you wish to mineral prospect in other beach locations or with equipment other than that listed in the application, you will need to submit JARPA. JARPA is available at
How Long Will it Take to Review my Application?
Once a complete application is accepted by WDFW, it will take a maximum of 45 calendar days to process.
Where do I Submit my Application?
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Habitat Program
600 Capitol Way North
Olympia, WA 98501-1091
(360) 902-2534
FAX (360) 902-2946
How Long is my Permit Valid?
Up to 5 years.
What is the Appeal Process for the Permit?
Informal and formal appeal processes are available to the applicant or other aggrieved parties, but must be filed within 30 days of notice of receipt of issuance or denial of HPA.
Notes / Comments:
The Gold and Fish Pamphlet for mineral prospecting serves as your Hydraulic Project Approval (HPA) for the types of freshwater mineral prospecting and mining activities described in it.
Statewide Contact:
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capital Way North
Olympia, WA 98501-1091
Telephone: (360) 902-2200
* Permit information last updated 8/22/2016
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