Sluices can be made of metal or hard to destroy modern plastics.
They come in a multitude of sizes from the pocket sluice to giant automated sluices that are floated on pontoons or barges.
The ones that we are concerned with will be the ones that we can carry in and use right in the stream, the wash or the river.
The type that you will use will depend on how much weight you will want to carry and move around.
For the larger sluices the gold prospector usually buys or makes a wheeled cart to get down to the water site.
Sluices that are light weight and easy to carry that do not require pumps or motorized equipment to run them are very popular.
Some of these can even be put in a back pack for the guy or gal that wants to hike in an test a site.
Some of the simple sluices have a wide receiver or mouth on one end and riffles that are build into the chute area where the gold settles.
The sluice is placed in the stream and weighted down with rocks that keep it in place while the gold prospector shovels materials into the receiver end.
The water that rushes through the mouth of the sluice washes the lighter materials through the riffles where the gold is caught and drops behind the riffles.
When the riffles fill with materials you pick out he larger rocks that did not wash out of the sluice.
Then you start looking for gold that got caught in the riffles.
You may have to dump the contents of the riffles into a gold pan and pan off the excess waste materials...
in order to see the smaller gold that may have been collected.
The gold prospector does have to do some work in order to find gold.
It is not a passive sport.
Sometimes its just fun to sit in the water and use a small shovel to feed the sluice so that you can see the small gold that gets captured in the riffles.
The water can cool you down when the weather is hot and can keep you comfortable.
Besides everyone likes to play in the water no matter how old you get.
Larger sluices can be attached to gas or battery powered motors that pump water into the receiver area.
These are usually made of aluminum or heavy plastic materials and are configured to stand on legs made of aluminum.
These modified sluices are adapted to be portable or to stand in place depending on the size.
For most modern gold prospectors and small miners the portable units serve the purpose without incurring too much expense.
Modified sluices are known by other names and can be adapted into high bankers and dredges and are very popular.
More on these later because when prospecting for gold you need to know what kind of tools you will want to fit your needs when you go out prospecting.
Have fun and be safe out there!