Who owns the Tomcod Claim in Bering Sea Gold?

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Written By Emily Riedel

After watching the first episode of Season 15 of Bering Sea Gold last night, a lot of people are speculating about the Shawn Pomrenke vs. Kris Kelly feud.

One of the big questions is this: if Kris Kelly is such a nuisance to Mr. Gold, why doesn’t Shawn just kick him off the Tomcod claim?

Well first of all, Tomcod isn’t a claim, it’s a lease from the state of Alaska.

Second, it’s not that simple.

Mr. Gold isn’t the full owner of Tomcod

Shawn isn’t a full 100% owner of Tomcod, he shares it with another guy. Both are authorized to allow offshore miners to work the lease and receive royalties from their work.

There are a lot of guys that work Tomcod that you don’t see on the show. Some of them work under Shawn’s authorization, and some work under McCully’s authorization.

Obviously if the Kelly’s were under Shawn’s authorization they would be gone already, but they’re not. That’s why they explained the crew member James was “grandfathered in” to working on Tomcod.

There’s a lot more to the story, but the point stands that Shawn, like the rest of us, sometimes just has to mine next to people he doesn’t like, and conflict can ensue.

Here’s my explanation.

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Brief history of Tomcod

Tomcod is the largest lease tract portrayed on the show. It’s a whopping 2000 acres and is actually made up of a number of smaller leases combined into one.

It’s changed hands many, many times over the years, and has been controlled by various individuals and mining corporations since it formed as an offshore prospecting permit issued by the state of Alaska in 1962.

It is one of the largest and most productive offshore gold leases in the Bering Sea, and continues to be worked by dredgers today.

With gold from the Bering Sea being some of the purest, it makes sense why everyone wants to mine on this lucrative lease.

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Emily Riedel

34 thoughts on “Who owns the Tomcod Claim in Bering Sea Gold?”

  1. Hi Emily, I cannot stand the Kellys; they are rather arrogant, and they are just big opportunists, who are not able to find their own claim. Didn’t they try to steal your gold, too? Well, they are just nasty parasites and ridiculous clowns. Lots of greetings from South Tyrol, Dario Z.

  2. Seems to me like the Kelly’s are right here. In the first episode of the season, Shawn admits he’s going to go over and dig all around him. Shawn was the ass. Since Kris Kelly had a kid, it seems like he is trying to do right. I wouldn’t mind seeing Shawn get fined for this one. He deserves it.

    • The Kelly’s are scum of the earth . If you have watched the whole series it is apparent from the beginning the have no initiative on there own. Something they learned from there scumbag father who contributes absolutely nothing . He was only on the boat so he could steal gold from his own flesh and blood. Chris Kelly is so jealous of Shawn that he just follows him around and doesn’t prospect and find his own gold. It maybe technically legal but lining up on another miners line is morally corrupt !

      • Definitely scum of the earth.. Their father is the worst..he just beat his girlfriend so bad she was in the hospital with life threatening head injury..what a sorry excuse of a man. I will admit Kris is trying to establish himself as a decent guy nowadays.

    • Your off your rocker there the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree like son like his jail bird fathered these guys are scumbags and are floating parasites of you losten to kris it sll about me me me he owns f all its his buddy who put the money up all the do is try and live off others so once a parasite always. Just like him claim jumping segment he put on the guide to successful mining ya ok there lol bahahah

    • Kelly’s have always been a piss ant in Shawn side for years a bunch of lazy punks who I don’t have any clue why they would finance that out fit as there old man clean out the box whenever they are not looking what a bunch of cali punks

  3. look at the actually footage the reaper nation was mining while Shawn was prospecting then the bully tried to pull out say goodbye to your mining license your in the wrong Shawn they where mining long before the The Christine Rose showed you you arrogant peace of shit no wounder you had to buy out your own old man out if you can’t even work with your own family then of course your in the right (coff coff bullshit)

  4. Hi Emily,

    Have you ever considered owning your own barge instead of relative simple sluice dredge? I mean, we know that aside from the gold all of the participants of the show get a certain amount of money per episode. Dredging without divers and with an excavator is lot more profitable if done proper.

    Anyway, aside from this I cannot stand Vernon. That guy can only shout, talks always in the ‘we’ sense, while he is doing nothing himself. He gets so easily pissed if a diver has an issue. Somebody should kick his fat ass in the water and let him do 10 hours of dredging. Well, just my 4 cents.

  5. Capitalism at it’s finest! I like to see woman and men work for living; instead sitting on their butt’s and cheating America! I suppose all you miners!

  6. Why don’t suction hoses have bars or a grid at the nozzle to stop big rocks that clog the hose? Notice that barges have excavators on them and that limits depth to dredge. As a kid I saw cranes with clamshell buckets attached to cables that dug in the harbor to deepen channels., no excavators. These, I would think, would be great in going deeper that any excavator. Wonder why they don’t use these?

    • Hey Ed! Suction hoses like ours have a reducer ring that limits the size of boulders that it can easily intake. You need to strike a balance, because it’s important to be able to suck up sizeable rocks and boulders in order to move enough material to pay, but you also can’t be sucking up hose jammers constantly. With a 1-2″ reducer ring dredgers can suck up big rocks and only get the occasional rock jam. The worst is rocks that are shaped like a torpedo! They’ll get past the reducer ring with high potential to jam the hose

  7. Shawn did not fair well in fight against Andy Kelley did he big mouth. He starts it gets ass kicked then calls the cops PUSSSSSYYYYY

  8. Kris Kelly is an inspiration. He came from the bottom and made it to the top. He got smacked down hundreds of times and he just keeps getting up and and starting over. The difference between him and the rest of us is that his mistakes are broadcast on TV where as your mistakes will be forgotten.

  9. Kris Kelly is no inspiration. He doesn’t want to do the work OR follow simple mining rules or rather laws. He wants to leech off of others, he wouldn’t know how to prospect if it unfolded right in front of him. Last season he went down the coast to that little town and it may have been technically legally, but it wasn’t cool morally, and the town showed them how wrong it was to mine there. And this year he wants to do the same thing to Shawn. It may be technically legal, but he is so busy trying to do the fast, sleazy thing instead of doing the work. Kris Kelly is typical of what is wrong with the youth of today. They can’t do math without a calculator, they can’t read a story, they have to watch the movie and they are lazy. Kris Kelly can quit comparing himself to anyone who actually has a brain and does the work required to be a real goldminer. He is embarrassing himself!


  11. Hi, Emily
    Just saying hello to you from Vienna Austria, as I just found out that you are an opera singer, great stuff!
    Very much enjoying the show! And also congratulations to your husband, marriage, and lovely baby!
    Much love and Wishing you lots of success, Elisabeth

  12. Hey, I’ve got a question about Tomcod. The name Tomcod. What is it…a name for a person? Or does it mean something else? It’s a totally random name to me and I’ve never seen an answer to where it came from.

  13. While I am not a huge fan of the Kellys, I can’t stand Chris McCully on the show this year. He comes off as an arrogant punk. So cocky.


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