Tonight’s episode of “Gold Rush” was titled “Treasure Island.” The episode begins at McKinnon Creek, where the guys are having breakfast, and everyone is feeling the stress and strain of working to find the 2,700 ounces. With only ten percent of the gold they need, it seems like a goal they may never meet. They installed a sand screw to keep tailings away from the plant. Suddenly, Kevin Hiatt sees a problem and radios them to shut down the conveyor belt. Freddy Dodge, who built the sand screw, is there to monitor the equipment. Once the conveyor is lowered to just fifteen degrees, the operation is once in business again.
At Scribner Creek, John Schnabel is heading home to Haines, Alaska and hugs his grandson good-bye. John has lots of faith in his grandson, but so far his season has been a disaster. Rick has a good feeling about the berm cut they have dubbed “Treasure Island.” Parker gives him a week to get the cut done and Rick sends his entire crew in to do the job. Meanwhile, he rushes to keep the wash plant going and must hope from loader to dozer to keep it running. Chris Doumitt is seeing that Rick’s effort is not enough and has to find a plan “B.” Rick brings his two mechanics, Carl and Mitch to help out loading pay dirt.
At Eureka Creek, Tony Beets is looking to earn back the fortune he spent on his antique dredge. Tony drops by to see Gene and asks how he is doing. At the rate they are going, Tony may not make even half of his investment this season. Suddenly, Jerry calls for Gene because the tailings are piling up against the dredge, and Jerry wants to shut it down. Gene gives it a quick fix, moves the tailings and keeps the system running.
In California, the Oroville Dam was built entirely out of dredge tailings. At 770 feet, it’s the tallest dam in the U.S. To get the tailings to the dam; a custom built railroad hauled 24 hours a day for eight straight years.
Once cleared, Gene now wants to make a suction line to suck out the fine tailings. Gene then tries to make a venturi pump, but the design calculations are not there, and it fails. Now they must find a better way to clear the fine tailings.
At McKinnon Creek, Todd tells Freddy that their last cleanup was worse than expected, but Freddy will take a sample of the fine tailings and see if that is where they are disappearing. He tests the tailings and sure enough, there is gold in the tailing pile. They are losing $5,000 a day in the tailings. Now Freddy has to work with Dave Turin, and they find the problem; the riffles are covered in sand, and the gold is flowing right out. A simple fix is all they needed and the sluice is back to work.
At Eureka Creek, the pressure is on to make the dredge work, and Tony gives Gene orders to keep it running and has an idea to give the fine tailings chute another ten feet. Gene fired up the dredge to see if Tony’s quick fix worked.
At Scribner Creek, the crew has worked non-stop on “Treasure Island.” As the last load of pay dirt goes through the wash plant, the berm cut is done. Bailey, the camp cook is helping Parker pick out the big nuggets. Their take was less than a hundred ounces and Parker’s decision to mine the berm cut was a disappointment. Now hope springs eternal for the big cut. Rick summons Parker to “Treasure Island” and believes he has hit pay dirt. Parker runs a test pan, and it is golden.
Back at McKinnon, they are in Jack’s Shack to see what they got from the 18,000 yards of dirt. Jack came out with 204.15 ounces and hit their weekly goal of two hundred and a happy crew at McKinnon on this episode of “Gold Rush.”