California's prolonged drought has created opportunities for prospectors and miners panning, sluicing, chiseling and diving for gold.

The Sacramento Bee reported (http://bit.ly/1QPTA3k) Wednesday that gold seekers are wading into formerly deep waterways to harvest flecks from the pea gravel and sediment in crevices that have long been inaccessible.

Long-haul trucker Gary Shaver says he is one of those finding treasures in the receding waters.

He prospects for gold at least 200 days a year, pulling out about three grams a week. An ounce of gold is worth roughly $1,200, down from nearly $1900 in 2011, the newspaper reports.

California is in its fourth year of the drought that has dried up water used to irrigate crops and forced drastic water cutbacks for cities and communities.

___

Information from: The Sacramento Bee, http://www.sacbee.com