‘Gold Rush’: Fred’s Crew is Trying to Avoid a ‘Milkshake’

by Amy Myers
(Photo by J R Ripper/Brazil Photos/LightRocket via Getty Images)

This is one milkshake you definitely don’t want to have. When Gold Rush mine boss Fred Lewis decided his team was ready to start sluicing, he enlisted the help of Freddy Dodge and Juan Ibarra for their advice on the situation. Unfortunately for Lewis, the white water duo didn’t have a whole lot of good news for him.

As one of the newest members of the Gold Rush cast, Lewis has had a tough time manning his own operations. Last season, his exploits in Oregon didn’t pan out the way he had hoped, and so he aimed to make this season his shot at redemption. However, after hearing the opinions of Dodge and Ibarra, his chances at a comeback are getting increasingly slimmer.

One of the main issues that Lewis faced on the site was the fact that he didn’t have nearly enough water to run the operation, particularly the sluice. Dodge told the fellow Gold Rush star that what he had created was a “glorified ditch.” If Lewis went forward with sluicing, he would only have about four hours of running time before the “milkshake” effect began in which fine dirt and silt would clog the machine.

Listen to the full conversation in the tense clip below.

When the Gold Rush veterans arrived at the newcomer’s site, already they knew Lewis was in over his head. They warned him that he didn’t have much time left in the season, so any additional prep work he needed would have to happen immediately. Already a month behind schedule, Lewis was aware of the risks of his situation but claimed that his team was “looking at this in a positive light.”

‘Gold Rush’ Mine Boss Decides to Move Forward with Sluicing

In order to remedy Lewis’ tough situation, Dodge and Ibarra make a list of suggestions for the new mine boss that while beneficial would also eat up another week out of the Gold Rush star’s already tight schedule.

First and foremost, he needed a larger, cleaner source of water. In order for the sluice to work efficiently, the machine requires lots of clean water to wash the tons of paydirt that Lewis’ team will be pumping through it. Ibarra suggested tearing up the original road on the land and expanding the pond. Dodge added that the Gold Rush mine boss would need at least one additional pond to help filter out the silt and keep it from entering both the sluice as well as the creek.

Already, Lewis has had a visit from local authorities regarding the safety and environmental protocols of his plant. Another call could shut them down altogether, so the team needed to be cautious of how their operation was affecting the outside environment.

Still, the mine boss believed he needed to have at least some gold to show for all of his efforts so far. So, as he began digging a new pond, the team started running the sluice.

What could possibly go wrong?