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Bering Sea Gold

Bering Sea Gold

Photo Credit:  Dawson Childers / Discovery Channel
  • Premiered: 
    January 27, 2012
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: Discovery
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Reality
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Workplace
  • Tags: gold mining

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  • Season 1
    • Amazon
  • Season 2
    • Amazon
Legal Full Episodes
Not Available Online
(That We Know Of)

Plot Synopsis

BERING SEA GOLD follows multiple gold dredges and their crews, as they scour the bottom of the frigid and unpredictable Bering Sea for precious metal. In the Summer when the ice pack melts in Nome, Alaska, this isolated, ramshackle town of eccentrics and outcasts booms with excitement, because pioneer gold seekers rush to get out onto the water. Miners dive and dredge to scour the bottom of the sea from custom built, barely seaworthy rigs -- in a race to haul in as much gold as possible before the waters become too frigid to dive. The dredges range wildly in size and sophistication, but all have crews whose very livelihoods depend on finding gold. The gold dredges are: The Christine Rose (Seasons 1-3), an 80-foot barge run by Steve Pomrenke and captained by his son Shawn, which is more than three times larger than any other craft in these waters; The Clark (Seasons 1 & 3), the youngest boat in the fleet, which was captained by Nome native Zeke Tenhoff, who built the dredge from junkyard scrap; The Eroica (fka The Edge) (Seasons 2 & 3), which Zeke selected to replace The Clark because it's a bigger, souped-up dredge with a powerful and dangerous suction hose, with a crew of Zeke's on-again, off-again love interest Emily Riedel as deckhand and Zeke's lifelong best friend, John Bunce, an experienced diver and gold dredger; The Sluicey (Season 1), a modified skiff that barely seated two, which was owned by Ian Foster, who quit his job as a social worker, sank his life savings into his rig, and took one shot at making his living as a gold dredger; The Wild Ranger (Seasons 1-3), which is owned by retired military man Vernon Adkison and captained by rookie Scott Meisterheim in Season 1, whose motivation for finding gold was over $100,000 in back child support payments; The Anchor Management (Season 2), which Scott purchased with $150,000 he borrowed from some 'bad people,' as he tries to show he's not the incompetent thief he was accused of being on The Wild Ranger in Season 1; The Minnow (Season 3), which was Steve Riedel's new dredge; and The Gold Grabber (Season 3), on which Scott works as a deckhand for Captain Hank Schimschat. Discovery aired the Season 2 premiere of this series on Friday, January 4, 2013 at 10pm ET.

BERING SEA GOLD returned for its third season on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 9pm ET/PT on Discovery. In Season 3, this series follows six dredge, including: The Christine Rose, as Shawn faces off against a rival from another boat; The Wild Ranger, as Vernon dredges off of the mystic Sledge Island, which is supposedly rich with gold; The Eroica (formerly The Edge), as Emily Riedel steps it up as a leader after her fallout with boyfriend Zeke; The Clark, which returns after a year off, with Zeke at the helm after battling and firing his former love interest, Emily; newcomer The Minnow, helmed by Steve Riedel, who's trying to steer clear of his nemesis, Scott; and The Gold Grabber, captained by Hank Schimschat, from whom Scott must learn to take orders instead of giving them, as he now works as a deckhand.

On Friday, March 13, 2015 at 10pm ET/PT, Discovery premiered the fourth season of BERING SEA GOLD. Summertime in Nome brings a flood of miners all staking claim to what was once a closely kept secret - two small gold-rich areas off the coast of Alaska. With more competition and a short Alaskan summer, the miners battle treacherous conditions and each other in hopes of finding gold. But how much can they push their crews before major injury - or even death - strikes? With the stakes greater than ever, it isn't long before drama hits the Bering Sea. And for most of these operations, it's a family affair with guarded secrets and techniques to find the gold. Back for her second year as captain is 26-year-old Emily Riedel, Alaska's first and only female dredge owner. Emily came to Nome, following in the footsteps of her dad Steve (who was fired from his first dredge, failed at ice mining and lost his dredge last summer after it got repossessed). Last winter, Emily floundered as captain pulling in just four ounces of gold and spending a fortune on new, cutting-edge equipment. Will this be the season that Emily proves that "the best man for the job" is actually a woman? Meanwhile, Shawn Pomrenke aka "Mr. Gold" and his dad Steve on The Christie Rose are gunning for their first ever 1,000-ounce season. But they're keeping a close eye on sophomore skipper Hank Schimschat, whose 80-foot barge proves to be tougher competition than anyone expected.

Discovery premiered the fifth season of BERING SEA GOLD on Friday, September 4, 2015 at 9pm ET/PT. After chaos reigned last winter, new regulations are now in place making the winter mining season even shorter -- with the miners scrambling to turn a profit in less than one month. But just how far can the ambitious miners push before disaster strikes? For the only female dredge owner in the fleet, 27-year-old Emily Riedel makes a bold choice by taking on the first-ever all female gold dredging team. But will this experiment pay off? Or will Emily once again face mutiny on the Bering Sea? But that's not the only bold choice that Emily makes. This season, she pairs up once again with her former boyfriend turned fierce rival Zeke Tenhoff. Meanwhile, Sean Pomrenke, AKA "Mr. Gold," is using the short season to follow his dream -- to search for gold on a remote claim that is long rumored to be full of gold. Also returning this season are Vernon Adkison, who once again, has sunk a small fortune into his mining operation, and the fightin' Kelly boys with Kris Kelly heading up the The Paddy Wagon, a rudimentary dredge at best.

Season 6 of BERING SEA GOLD premiered on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at 9pm ET/PT on Discovery, immediately following an a five-hour marathon (4-9pm) of encore episodes. This season, no one takes bigger risks than the Pomrenke family. Shawn, aka Mr. Gold, ventures 100 miles to an unproven claim at "The Bluff" while his father sinks the family fortune into a new inland mining operation. Meanwhile, despite owning her own dredge, The Eroica, Emily Riedel has trouble scrounging up a crew. Her former flame Zeke Tenhoff would rather mine for a large corporation than spend one more season on the water with Emily. On the Reaper, Brad Kelly has big plans to strike it rich by purchasing 40 acres of off-shore claims, but first needs to convince his sons to bury the hatchet and rejoin the family business. Meanwhile, Vernon Adkison feels pressure from investors when he struggles to find a ship to launch his "golden seahorse," and veteran miner Derek McLarty spends every penny he has to join the ranks as captain of his own brand new, guitar-shaped dredge: the High Noon.

The seventh season of BERING SEA GOLD premiered on Friday, August 26, 2016 at 9pm ET/PT on Discovery Channel, immediately following a 12-hour marathon (9am-9pm) of encore episodes. With the 2016 ice-mining season underway, a modern-day gold rush sparks in Nome, Alaska, when Shawn Pomrenke offers the gold mining fleet access to his 160-acre claim of untouched Bering Sea floor. Rumored to contain millions of dollars in gold, the miners risk everything to try their luck on the untapped terrain. But access comes at a price. While they're allowed to dredge Shawn's virgin Claim 38, they must hand over 20% of their gold and, most importantly, valuable GPS coordinates. This means when the ice thaws and Shawn's new mega dredge hits the water, he can get on the gold immediately in the summer with his mega-dredge that will dwarf the Christine Rose. For the fleet, Shawn's new virgin territory offers big risk and big return. Drill logs show the claim to contain upwards of 15 million dollars' worth of gold. With this in mind, Zeke Tenhoff will do whatever it takes to have a successful season, including continuing his unlikely partnership with former flame, Emily Riedel. Relying on her to handle the business so that he can focus on the mining, the explosive duo re-unite in hopes of finally striking it rich. And for Vernon Adkison, the consummate dreamer, this season represents his best and possibly final chance to make it as a gold miner.

Season 8 of BERING SEA GOLD premiered on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 at 10pm ET/PT on Discovery, two weeks later than originally scheduled. This season, Shawn Pomrenke struggles to hold together his family's flourishing mining empire. Staking their future on 10,000 acres of property thought to contain a quarter-billion dollars in gold, closing the deal requires a $3 million down payment. To finance the transaction, Shawn returns to the Bluff, a remote location 100 miles east of Nome. With the family's future and his reputation on the line, Shawn needs a big payout. Anything less and the entire empire could come tumbling down. Meanwhile, Zeke Tenhoff continues his alliance with former flame Emily Riedel. The pair heads 26 miles off shore to Sledge Island, a mysterious, deserted, volcanic formation fabled to have mounds of gold in its unexplored waters. If the duo can make it across the open ocean in their tiny dredge and manage to find gold, they'll be at the top of Nome's new gold game. After five years of scheming and scamming, most of Nome harbors a severe distrust of the Kelly family, making it difficult for them to get access to good mining ground. This season, Kris has been elevated to captain, with the hope of turning things around, pulling his family's finances - and reputation - out of the gutter. This summer, he'll make sure everything works, including his dad and brother but with bridges burned, options are running out for the Kellys. If Kris can't learn to overcome the odds by legitimate means, it could sink his mining ambitions for good. Nome newcomer George Young hopes to create his own gold mining enterprise and get out from under his older brother's shadow. An avid outdoorsman, diver, sport shooter, skier and passionate adventurer, George is clearly undeterred by the pick-up truck accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. In debt from buying and outfitting the dredge, he sets his sights high from deep in the hole. Like so many before him, George thinks he has what it takes to hit a golden payday. He just hopes that unlike all those others, he's right.

On Friday, August 11, 2017 at 9pm ET/PT, Discovery premiered the ninth season of BERING SEA GOLD. In the winter ice-mining season, the miners will face even bigger challenges and more risks in hopes of hitting the motherlode under the ice. With livelihoods at stake, Shawn Pomrenke and his crew focus on building a mega-dredge that dwarfs anything on the Bering Sea -- a risk that will could catapult his operation. Or could sink the entire business before even getting started. Last summer, was a tough season for Shawn Pomrenke, aka Mr. Gold, who was outbid by other miners for the Nome Gold claim. In his quest to grab the reins and lead his father's company into the future, Shawn staked a claim at the remote, uninhabitable Alaskan badlands known as The Bluff, but will his claim be rejected? If it is, The Bluff will be open to anyone willing to make the arduous trek with a six-inch dredge. Meanwhile, Kris Kelly is determined to follow Shawn to The Bluff regardless of his shoddy equipment and less than enthused father and brother. Will the Kellys risk their lives to get the big gold at The Bluff before Shawn? Zeke Tenhoff and Emily Riedel had success mining Hastings Creek last summer. Since then, Zeke cut ties with Emily, but until Zeke proves that there's enough gold there to file an official claim, Hastings is open ground, waiting for whomever wants to race for the gold. Determined to finally have a successful season at the helm, Emily hires two veteran divers who must get out to Hastings coordinates before Zeke. And if Hastings Creek is a bust, Zeke and Emily can always trek out to the rumored motherlode at The Bluff.

Season 10 of BERING SEA GOLD premiered on Friday, March 30, 2018 at 10pm ET/PT on Discovery. The new summer season dives in with the Alaska mining crew practicing riskier strategies and using larger, updated equipment on old grounds to tackle their biggest endeavor yet: mining the most ever Bering Sea gold. "Mr. Gold" Shawn Pomrenke has his work cut out for him with the arrival of the largest dredge in Nome: Myrtle Irene. With competitors Ken and Dave rocking the Nome mining foundation, Shawn's title of "Mr. Gold" could be up for grabs. Can Shawn's Christine Rose handle the pressure and come out on top? Meanwhile, Captain Kris Kelly has set his sights on taking over The Bluff with his newer, smaller, amphibious dredge the Reaper. But his plans are threatened by a slew of encroaching miners in The Bluff's now lawless waters. Coming off a tough winter season, Emily Riedel, the first and only female dredge owner, seeks redemption with the restored Eroica. She will dive deeper than any other operation in the waters, but with the relentless weather conditions of the Bering Sea, bringing home the gold will be a dangerous feat. And George Young delays mining on his own to prospect for the 600-ton Myrtle Irene. But with the allure of riches too strong, his dredge All About Nuggets is quickly back at sea on the hunt for gold.

The eleventh season of BERING SEA GOLD premiered on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 at 9pm ET/PT, immediately following a new one-hour special. This season, Shawn Pomrenke feels the pressure from his newest competitor, Ken Kerr, as he tries to stay atop Nome's gold mining heap. The threat to Shawn's reign is looming as Ken's 600-ton gold-digging behemoth is primed and ready, dwarfing everything currently on the water. The pressure is on Shawn to get his own mega-dredge monster on the water as soon as he can. Also, Vernon Adkison makes his return to the Bering Sea with his custom-built 'Gold Ship' as he sets out to prove the ship can successfully mine the gold grounds. But, challenges arise early as he tries to navigate his dredge 1000 miles down the treacherous Yukon River. Emily Riedel, the most successful female dredge owner in Nome, sets her sights on an even bigger payday than last season, but she faces many tough obstacles including a close call that could cost her to lose her entire dredge to the Bering Sea forever. In addition, Kris, Brad and Andy Kelly are coming off their best season ever and are ready to make their lofty gold mining expectations a reality. They return to the promising ground at The Bluff but Kris is dead set to lead his family into the future by claiming remote grounds they can call their own. Going up against life or death decisions, the crews will be challenged in more ways than ever before, but it'll be an all-out race to winter to see who will lead the pack and earn the title of top miner in Nome. In the season opener, "Double Down," despite the worst conditions in a decade, the miners hedge their bets as Shawn and Ken go head to head with their largest ships ever. Emily confronts the elements while Kris leads his family with a newfound determination.

Season 12 of BERING SEA GOLD premiered Friday, May 15, 2020 at 8pm ET/PT on Discovery Channel. Following a record-breaking heat wave in Nome, the clock is ticking as the sediment on the ocean floor begins to kick up, putting all of their known claims at risk. But the ocean floor isn't the only adversary. Last season, Shawn Pomrenke, the former 'Mr. Gold,' was knocked off his throne by Ken Kerr and left him stuck on shore with a bad business deal, while Kerr went to stake his dominance. The Eroica captain, Emily Riedel, also has a secret weapon this season; she's brought diver Daryl Galipeau back into the game in the hopes of venturing into untouched areas and rising up against her competitors. Kris Kelly heads into this season ready to find new ground and expand his empire without anyone getting in the way. With an offer for new equipment, the stakes are high as he must "go big or go broke" to finally join the ranks of the mega-miners. Vernon Adkison is back exploring the next big gold strike along with his daughter Elaine who hopes to learn from the best. With everything at stake in Nome, is the Bering Sea big enough for each of these miners to find success? This season, there's no telling which way the tide will turn. And later this season: when winter sets in and the Bering Sea freezes over, for the first time in years the miners will dive under a solid sheet of Bering Sea ice to stay on the trail of gold. At less than 2 feet thick in spots, the ice is barely what most miners consider safe enough. So the question is: How long will this year's ice even last, and how much is each miner willing to risk as they attempt the most dangerous and unpredictable ice mining season on record?

On Friday, April 30, 2021, BERING SEA GOLD returned for its 13th season on discovery+ (3:01am ET/12:01am PT) and later that night on Discovery Channel (9-11pm ET/PT). This season, gold prices are on track to reach an all-time high and with this new opportunity comes new challenges. Owning a claim is more vital now than ever as it's the only way to guarantee a place to mine. Nome's untamed roots are reestablished as the mining fleet among the competition and returning familiar faces battle in a free-for-all to claim the richest grounds on the Bering Sea. With the biggest shakeup Nome has seen in over 100 years, seasoned miners and average joes alike are on the hunt for the biggest money-making claims. Shawn Pomrenke, former "Mr. Gold," returns with a new ally in mind -- rival Dave Young of Arctic Sea Mining. Shawn's plan? To mine the most gold ever in a single season while reconstructing the Myrtle Irene to launch on the infamous and most sought-after Tomcod claim. With even higher hopes to take over his family's inland mine and buy out his dad Steve Pomrenke, Shawn is willing to risk it all--for a second time, in the hopes of achieving the most profitable pay streak he's ever had. Captain Kris Kelly has his own eyes on the prize, and surprisingly, a new mining ground. He's taking the most ambitious chance of his mining career by leading the largest vessel he's ever captained, where no miner has ventured before, in order to live and work off of the coast of the remote town of Elim. It's Kris' most unpredictable season yet as he lands himself on a new excavator dredge and dodges bullets from every direction while he chases gold...literally. Kris will also share his "exclusive" mining knowledge with viewers in "Kris Kelly's Secret Guide to Mining" featured in each episode. But it's the return of rogue mastermind Zeke Tenhoff and Emily's mercurial father Steve Riedel that really stirs up the already tumultuous Bering Sea. Zeke focuses on creating what he thinks will be a competitive advantage -- a first-of-its-kind sailboat dredge. This type of dredge will enable him to access further and deeper claims, stay overnight on the dredge, and withstand storms that would otherwise push other dredges back to the harbor. The mad scientist doesn't return alone; he's got a rockstar crew with him including brother Sam Tenhoff and his bassist Raven. Zeke may have taken a break from the Bering Sea, but nothing will stop him from pursuing its gold. All the while, Steve Riedel returns ready to start from the ground up to assemble a mining rig and secure a top-notch claim of his own. He'll do whatever it takes to make it happen. Along the way, Steve Riedel will dig into the history of the remote gold-struck town where he shares with viewers the "Weird Wild Wonderful World of Nome" in nearly every episode. As the battlefield of Nome continues to grow, Emily Riedel must pivot her strategy and plan for a new idea of success. She puts aside her plans to operate a second dredge and dives into the claim war while recruiting Nome's top gold divers to establish her elite team. Meanwhile, Vernon Adkison gambles all he's got for one of the richest claims on the Bering Sea -- Claim 56. With his go-to team all unavailable, he must resort to finding a brand-new crew. Desperation leads him to a possible collaboration with Steve Riedel, who Vernon has fought and fired multiple times throughout the years.

Season 14 of BERING SEA GOLD premiered on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 at 8pm ET/PT on Discovery. he cards have been dealt, and now, for the fearless miners of Nome, it's time to go all-in. Relentless snowstorms and hypothermic temperatures, new crew members and shifting power dynamics along with weather-induced equipment malfunctions leave the miners dealing with more than they bargained for this ice mining season. But with the price of gold remaining high, folding is not an option. This winter, the miners who dared to take a seat at the table will learn their fate, grinding through the brutal winter to see if they've got a winning hand... or whether the biggest gambles of their careers leave them in the muck. Nome, Alaska has one trick up its sleeve: bombarding the gold grounds with blizzards that are dumping more snow onto the ice than miners have ever seen. With these brutal conditions hitting every few days, mining shacks and gear are getting snowed-in, forcing the miners to dig out and haul their equipment as fast as they can for any opportunity to mine before the next blizzard hits. One thing's a given this season: these miners are ready to up the ante no matter what comes between them and the potential payoff of a lifetime. Shawn Pomrenke returns with his eyes on the prize, diving into the frigid unknown, fighting windchills of 50 below, alongside diver Joe Fullwood. With a problematic air compressor, Shawn faces challenges right out of the gate. But his intuition for gold rarely leaves him empty handed, and he's chasing a golden jackpot he believes lies in an ancient river bed. Yet everyone knows that winter's cruel dealings level the playing field for all miners and even Mr. Gold himself is not safe from the fury. Mastermind Zeke Tenhoff, whose last ice mining season caused him to pack his bags, is coming in fresh and determined with a new crew, consisting of his other brother Gabe, friend Shlomo, and Gabe's mischievous canine, Stormy. And what kind of ice mining season would it be if Steve Riedel didn't make an appearance? He'll lend a hand to Zeke in any way he can, even if that means serving as the pizza delivery guy. As he runs into stingy waters, Zeke will have to persuade Shawn to grant him access to the Tomcod. Will this business relationship prove profitable or disastrous? Kris Kelly has more weighing on him than ever before -- both on the ice and off. While trying to make this season his most successful yet, he's gone in over his head on expensive new mining equipment and is also preparing for fatherhood. The soon-to-be dad must learn how to balance his high-stakes mining season along with caring for a newborn. Is he ready for the biggest journey of his life, or will the pressure cause him to fold? This season's wild card Vernon Adkison is on a hot streak on his coveted Claim 56, but he must contend with a lead in the ice threatening his entire operation. On some of the best gold of his life, Vernon pushes the crew and equipment to keep mining, as they move closer and closer to the open water at the edge of the ice. Will lady luck continue to bless Vernon or betray him when he least expects it?

BERING SEA GOLD returned for its 15th season on Tuesday, December 6, 2022 at 8pm ET/PT on Discovery Channel. Empires are expanding, and the legendary rivalry between Shawn Pomrenke, Nome's "Mr. Gold", and Reaper Nation captain Kris Kelly comes to a head. With his massive new excavator dredge The Mistress, Kris attempts to go toe-to-toe with Shawn by encroaching on his mining grounds at Tomcod. The two Captains become locked in an epic dredge vs. dredge turf war that escalates to an unforgettable knock-down-drag-out showdown at the dock. But that's just the start! Later in the season, Vernon Adkison, who is building his kingdom on Claim 56, risks a search and rescue mission after a late season storm sends the miners to the safety of the harbor. But when one dredge in the fleet stranded, Vernon battles the violent sea in his custom-built Gold Ship dredge to search for the lost miner and fulfill "The Miner's Code" where no man is left behind. Audiences also see the return of some familiar faces as well as some exciting new blood to the Bering Sea. The Eroica dredge captain, Emily Riedel, newly married and looking to start a family, brings an old friend into her mining operation that will surely take Nome by storm: none other than "Alaska: The Last Frontier" star Jane Kilcher. While it's Jane's first time in Nome, she has plenty of experience under her belt in Alaska as a commercial fisherwoman and homesteader. But will that experience help her in the hunt for gold? Vernon Adkison also experiences a blast from the past when notorious former crew member "Hurricane Dave" suddenly reappears on the Nome shore.

On Tuesday, August 1, 2023 from 9-11pm ET/PT, Discovery Channel premiered the 16th season of BERING SEA GOLD. In the season opener, "Goldfellas," Chris McCully faces off against Mr. Gold while prospecting with his partner Andy. Don Vernon is sick, and Zeke builds a palace on ice. Pregnant Emily leaves Jane in charge.

Season 17 of BERING SEA GOLD debuted on Friday, October 6, 2023 from 9-11pm ET/PT on Discovery Channel. In the two-hour season opener, "Captains of Industry," as a new Industrial Revolution sweeps Nome, the miners elevate their operations; a cracked spud may mean disaster for Shawn; Kris Kelly struggles with faulty equipment; Chris McCully has a blockbuster start, while Vernon buys an unorthodox dredge.
On Friday, December 22, 2023 from 9-11pm ET/PT, Discovery Channel premiered "Endgame," the Season 17 finale of BERING SEA GOLD. In the fleet's last push for gold, Reaper Nation fights to mine until the cold, bitter end; Shawn reaches for gold in deeper waters; Emily must depend on her last remaining diver; Chris and Zeke debate whether to mine in murky conditions.


Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Original Productions


  • - Nome, Alaska USA