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AUBURN -- As California's drought persists and water levels dip to historically low levels, gold prospectors are taking to Northern California rivers hoping to spot something shiny.

The Sacramento Bee reports (http://bit.ly/1d4HnOt ) that calling it a gold rush might be a stretch, but unusually low rivers are opening up areas of Placer County that haven't been touched by man in decades, if not over a century.

James Hutchings, Sacramento chapter president of the Gold Prospectors Association of America, tells the newspaper that flakes -- possibly even nuggets -- that normally would be submerged might be available.

Over the weekend, truck driver Michael Albin came away with a gold chip in his pan about one-fourth the size of a pea.

He says that's enough to keep him coming back for more.

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