Prospecting for gold in Alaska is never going to be easy. Potential prospectors have to determine the amount of gold that will be minimally acceptable to recover daily. This amount of gold will depend somewhat on the size of the mining equipment, such as dredging equipment that is employed, the expenses required, and how much effort the potential prospector is willing to expend. Most prospectors will set a minimum daily limit to make sure that they aren’t losing money. When they are recovering at least that amount of gold daily, they will stay with it, else they will move on and sample other locations.
The reasons for doing this includes ensuring that there is no time wasted, a profit and no wasted effort. This prevents the prospector from living on hope while losing money. There are times while dredging low grade material that the better option is to move on and sample other locations. The reason for this is that some prospectors can become delusional with one large strike and what was an acceptable find at one time is no longer acceptable This can lead the prospector to ignore a reasonably good location that might provide acceptable levels gold in search of an elusive strike it rich locations.
An example of this scenario is a potential prospector who was new at dredging gold that was receiving a reasonable level of gold and was making a reasonable profit over and above his expenses every day. Then one day he struck a rather large lode. However, the very next day he went back to his usual reasonable level of gold but he was no longer satisfied with that level of gold. As a result he quit working that location and moved on to bigger and better locations in search of finding the mother lode. He never returned to the original location but other prospectors did and the location continued to provide a reasonable profit.
This man became spoiled from the amazing feelings that resulted from finding the large lode of gold. This phenomenon is known as treasure or gold fever. Nobody knows if the prospector really did strike it rich but this is unlikely. After the high level of gold played out the next day, he simply could no longer accept the reasonable level of gold even though he was making a profit after expenses. It is something akin to losing a person that you are in love with. No one else will ever be able to replace that person. If a prospector prospects for gold for any reasonable period of time, there will always be highs and lows. The trick is to accept what is reasonable.