Jeff Barnard / AP Photo

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story quoted Rep. Gael Tarleton, who said, "Oregon has a moratorium" on suction dredge mining. She also said, "The state of Idaho has banned suction dredging under the Clean Water Act." The state of Oregon does not have a moratorium though it does restrict the practice, and the state of Idaho has banned the practice only in some waters, including all areas designated as critical habitat for endangered salmon. 

Washington is the only state left in the Pacific Northwest where people mining for gold and other minerals are allowed unrestricted use of motorized vacuums in riverbeds.

The practice is known as suction dredge mining, and some are concerned it’s harmful to endangered fish. A bill before the legislature would place new restrictions on it while its impacts are studied.

cobalt123 /

Gold has been trading for more than $1,600 an ounce lately. That's down from its high of nearly $1,900 an ounce last year.

Will gold stay at these relatively high levels? Or is the bubble going to burst?

Financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer look at the warning signs about gold on this week's Money Matters.

Eric Golub /

If gold is part of your investment portfolio, or you have some old jewelry you'd like to get rid of, now may be a great time to cash in. Gold prices are at record highs, recently approaching $1,900 an ounce.

On this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer talk about how to get the most money for your gold.


With the economy seemingly in a freefall, a frenzy of gold buying as sent the price to record highs. 

This gold fever has created a new breed of gold miners – traveling estate buyers who temporarily set up shop in hotels, offering to pay cash on the spot.