January 2009 Agate collecting on Lucas Creek east of Centralia (area now closed)

IMPORTANT NOTE: As of Fall 2009, Weyerhaeuser has closed Lucas Creek to all agate collecting due to excessive digging in and along the stream.

In January 2009 a landlide and mudflow swept down one of the tributaries of Lucas Creek terminating in an enormous logjam. The mudflow stripped away all the vegetation and much of the topsoil from nearly two miles of the stream valley, exposing and reworking the gravel which contains most of the agate. Numerous large agate nodules, geodes and chunks of seam agate were exposed. Rockhounds were quick to discover the treasure-trove; during the two weeks following the flood, considerably more than a ton of agate was removed from the upper branches of Lucas Creek with most of that coming from the landslide fork. Little if any of that agate was found by digging - we carried shovels to fish agates and possible agates out of deeper water and to pry partially-exposed agates out of the gravel. Photos in the creek were taken over the course of half a dozen trips during January and February 2009.
Click a picture to see a larger view.