Gold fever in the Fraser Canyon

More than 150 panners participated in the annual Fraser River Gold Panning Championships over the weekend

Iain Small (left) watches as Dan Moore

The Fraser River Gold Panning Championships returned to Anderson Creek Campground in Boston Bar over the weekend.

The event saw 158 panners – 27 more than last year – from around B.C. and Alberta compete in several different events to see who could recover a predetermined amount of gold flakes from a bucket of pay dirt the fastest.

“A little bit of gold fever is had by all because it’s a beautiful mineral that everybody loves to have,” said event organizer Dan Moore, who is better known as Yukon Dan. “I would say there was 20-25 per cent new people this year which is great. It’s always good to see new people come out. We show them how it’s done, give them practice opportunities and then they get in there. Roughly 90 per cent of the people that camped out this year have already booked for next year.”

It takes over 35 volunteers to run the Fraser River Gold Panning Championships each year and planning starts 10 months in advance. The event kicked off with two days of workshops and demonstrations in Yale. Gold panning competitions began on Saturday, with events for children, teens, adults, seniors and professionals. Numerous prizes were then handed out on Sunday following the finals.

There were also metal detecting competitions for adults, teens, children and three person teams. The first place winner of the adult metal detecting competition was Matthew Kelly who won a meteorite. Sam Tomelin came second and won a one pound copper bar. The top prizes for the children and teen competition went to Leven De Haan and Devon De Haan. The three person team was won by Matthew, Peyton and Cadence Kelly who found $20.70.


Children Final:

1st – Nicholal Williamson, 4 flakes 1:00

2nd – Isaac Van Vliet, 4 flakes 1:06

3rd – Melanie Dean, 4 flakes 1:13


Teen Final:

1st – Brianna Smith, 3 flakes 9:47

2nd – Anna Avram, 3 flakes 10:27

3rd – Samantha Traer, 2 flakes 11:07


Adult Final:

1st – Mike Spotten, 4 flakes 1:52

2nd – Matthew Kelly, 4 flakes 3:23

3rd – Thierry Carriou, 4 flakes 3:29


Seniors Final:

1st – Robin Rosborough, 5 flakes 2:41

2nd – James Adams, 5 flakes 3:01

3rd – Glen Warner, 5 flakes 4:19


Professional Final:

1st – Dave Carlson, 15 flakes 10:47

2nd – Robin Rosborough, 10 flakes 21:57

3rd – Al Goodfellow, 11 flakes 22:20


Volunteers Final:

1st – Anna Avram, 5 flakes 2:31

2nd – Mike Spotton, 4 flakes 4:16

3rd – Carole Borthwick, 4 flakes 4:48


Open Final:

1st – Dave Coupland, 4 flakes 2:10

2nd – Robin Rosborough, 4 flakes 2:23

3rd – Carole Borthwick, 4 flakes 2:26


Hand in Hand Final:

1st – Dan Hadash/Alexandra Wasilewski, 6 flakes 3:09

2nd – Robin Rosborough/Jeanette Pongratz-Doyle, 6 flakes 3:18

3rd – Terry Hoffer/Eric Groenendyk, 6 flakes 3:23


Flat Pan Final:

1st – Terry Regier, 8 flakes 2:38

2nd – Robin Rosborough, 8 flakes 3:25

3rd – Sam Tomelin, 8 flakes 4:05


Blindfold Final:

1st – Trina Panich/Ken Montie, 11 flakes 14:39

2nd – Dan House/Rayshell Doyle, 10 flakes 15:42

3rd – Brody Scott/Rhonda Kariz, 12 flakes 16:17


Two Person Fun Event:

1st – Dale Scott/Dan House, 8 flakes 6:27

2nd – Kassan Borthwick/Aaron Brown, 8 flakes 6:52

3rd – Dale Harkness/Al Goodfellow, 8 flakes 7:38


Three Person Fun Event:

1st – Larry Matthews/Sean McCarthy/Noah MacRitchie, 7 flakes 11:34


Anything but a Gold Pan:

1st – David Lanthier, 5 flakes 6:27

2nd – Dave Coupland, 5 flakes 6:39

3rd – Bryan Anca, 5 flakes 7:59


Grudge Match:

1st – Sam Tomelin, 5 flakes 5:39


Iron Person:

1st – Sam Tomelin, 9 flakes 8:19

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