• "Gold Rush: White Water" was cut mid-season unexpectedly in January 2023 due to Discovery trying to reduce taxes.
• The show is expected to return in April 2023 after the period of tax returns is finished.
• Dakota Fred left the show due to not being paid enough, and his plans for his own show "All That Glitters" didn't end up going forward.
• Paul Richardson and Kayla Sheets left due to a disagreement between them and Dustin.
• The show follows Fred and his Dakota Boys as they search for gold in McKinley Creek.
• Fred and Dustin have a complicated relationship, but they still love each other.
• Dustin has been in several dangerous situations, but he still continues to pursue his dream.
• Both Fred and Dustin started mining as a result of a chance encounter.
• The current cast includes Fred, Dustin, James Hamm, Carlos Minor, Wes Richardson, Paul Richardson, and Kayla Sheets.

With high ratings, a memorable cast, and lots of drama to keep people tuning in season after season, there’s no denying that “Gold Rush” is one of the most popular reality shows produced by Discovery in the last decade.

That same success has followed the show’s spin-offs such as “White Water”, which has been following Fred Hurt and his son Dustin in their mining endeavors in Alaska since 2019.

While there’s no shortage of issues between the show’s cast, no one would have expected that a bigger drama was arising off-camera, coming to its high point when the show was cut short mid-season in early 2023, prompting anger in equal parts from the audience and producers.

So what really happened for “Gold Rush: White Water” to be cut in such an unexpected way? Stay here to know all about it!

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Why Was The Show Cut Off Mid-Season?

It’s not every day that a show is cut off mid-season, but unfortunately that’s what happened to the Discovery series “Gold Rush: White Water” in January 2023. The unexpected cut worried fans that the show might have been canceledm or that its season only lasted eight episodes, which is half of what the series usually has per season.

Nonetheless, contrary to all the speculations regarding the future of “White Water”, the show actually went on hiatus. As explained by the show’s producer Tim Dalby, the decision to interrupt “White Water”s sixth season came from Discovery itself and was unexpected by anyone, even for him: ‘I hate this, and as I say I am just a reluctant messenger, as it seems they have also failed to communicate any of this’, he wrote on social media.

Dalby also explained that the show was apparently too expensive for the network to keep on air, and in an effort to save tax money, they decided to cut it for the time being. That being said, “White Water”s sixth season was completely shot and edited by the time the break started in January.

When Will It Return?

Given that “White Water” was taken off the air to reduce taxes, the show is expected to come back on air by April 2023, right after the period of tax returns finishes. This was what one of the show’s producers Tim Dalby affirmed on his social media, yet he insisted that the move could have some unfortunate effects in the future: ‘the series has been rating well again, and this rather short-sighted move will obviously harm that’, he wrote.

That being said, fans of “White Water” aren’t happy about the decision. As reported by the media site TV Shows Ace, ever since the show’s break started, fans have left hundreds of messages on Discovery’s and “Gold Rush” social media accounts, some of them even going as far as to threaten to boycott the network unless they brought “White Water” right away.

However, Discovery was firm on its decision and despite not releasing an official statement regarding the future of the show, it all points out that it’ll eventually come back on air when they deem it right.

The Motherload | Gold Rush: White Water

The pressure to find gold is causing one crewmember to crack.Gold Rush: White Water is all new Friday after #GoldRush on Discovery and discovery+

Posted by Discovery on Thursday, February 24, 2022

Did Dakota Fred Leave the Show?

Ever since “White Water” premiered its first season in 2019, we’ve been following Fred “Dakota” Hurt and his son Dustin as they run a mining operation in Alaska, while also dealing with their rough father-son relationship.

In the last couple of years, Dakota Fred has openly expressed his intention of leaving his Dakota Boys crew to search for other opportunities in mining. As he admitted during “White Water”s fifth season, he won’t be leading the crew anymore and plans on leaving Dustin on its lead, passing down his dream of finding immense amounts of gold under the Alaska water.

Despite that, and not taking part as much as he used to do in past years, Dakota Fred hasn’t left “White Water”, and continues to pursue his mining goals from the side.

Did Fred Have Another Show?

“White Water” isn’t Dakota Fred’s first appearance on TV, as he was one of “Gold Rush” original cast members until the show’s fifth season. His choice to leave was prompted by the apparent lack of good salaries paid by the network, as he affirmed in a Facebook post in 2014: ‘the main reason is simple and I quote ‘If you want a Miner, call me. If you want an actor, pay me like one’, he wrote.

Other reasons cited by Fred were how he and his son Dustin were considered ‘hard to work with’ for not agreeing to the decisions taken by the show’s producers. Fred and Dustin were taken off the show, and announced that they had another mining-centered production in the works, which was entitled “All That Glitters” and filmed in Haines, Alaska.

However, Fred and Duston’s plans didn’t go as expected, and their show never saw the light of day, though the footage was ultimately used for the documentary “Gold Blooded”, aired on Discovery in 2018, but independent of the “Gold Rush” franchise. Later in 2019, the pair would star in “White Water”, which concept is similar to what they planned for “All That Glitters” in the beginning.

Why Did Paul and Kayla Leave?

Those who have been watching “Gold Rush: White Water” from the beginning, surely remember the names Paul Richardson and Kayla Sheets. The couple were original cast members of the show, and Kayla is the step-sister of Dustin Hurt, and he was also good friends with her husband Paul.

However, the family bond between them couldn’t stop problems from arising. As affirmed by Kayla in a Tweet from November 2020, hers and Paul’s exit from the show was decided by no one but Dustin: ‘(he) said he wouldn’t do the show if I came back. I think the little man was intimidated that I could do everything that he did, despite being a woman’, she wrote.

It’s unclear if Dustin and Kayla were able to fix their tense family situation in the end, but she and her husband eventually went back to the show.

What Is “White Water” About?

“Gold Rush” has released several spin-offs to date, and each one of them has managed to stand out on its own. It’s no different for “White Water”, which besides letting us know how difficult it is to mine under the extreme weather conditions of Alaska, also shows how complex the father and son relationship between the Hurts is.

Set in McKinley Creek, “Gold Rush: White Water” features the mining operations at the bottom of said creek, where Dakota Fred believes large amounts of gold are waiting to be discovered. The area was already explored by Fred in the past, but his newfound motivation to renew his explorations was prompted by ‘devising a new attack plan’ and extending his budget: ‘We got more people and a little more equipment. We were so close to what we were after. That’s what inspired us to just go after it again’, he told Channel Guide Magazine.

So far, Fred and his Dakotas Boys have been able to dig lots of gold from McKinley Creek, but the audience also saw his relationship with his son Dustin deteriorating. By the third season, the pair split their operations with Dustin setting his operation in a different area from his father, both working quite well on their own. Later in the fifth season, Fred decided to step out from the Dakota Boys, leaving both crews to merge under Dustin’s command, leaving his dream in the hands of his son as well.

Do Dustin And Fred Not Get Along?

Good fans of the Hurts know that father and son don’t always get along well when it comes to work, though many also wonder if their disagreements are also a constant in their personal life. Dustin and Fred’s personalities have seemingly always clashed, whether they’re in front of cameras or not. Nonetheless, while the father-son dynamic might seem too rough at times, there’s no bad blood between them: ‘He’s got his way of talking down to me, and I don’t think he means it. But when he does it, it’s enough to set you off’, as Dustin told Alaska Sporting Journal in 2018, ‘but he’s my dad. I love him’, he affirmed.

Even so, the bickering and disagreements are sometimes so intense that it easily gets in the way of their job, something which ultimately led them to split ways starting from “White Water” third season: ‘Dustin and I have the same goals, but we’ve come to the realization that we just cannot work together. I think it’s the best for everyone involved’, as Fred told Hollywood Soap Box and as it’s evident, the pair’s work relationship has significantly improved since then.

Did Dustin Have An Accident?

Gold mining isn’t an easy job, hence it’s not rare to see those involved in it going through some very dangerous situations.

This is also true for Dustin Hurt, who’s faced a couple of enduring incidents throughout his mining career, one the most serious one being the time his raft fell when he was trying to transport mining equipment to a new mining spot. While the crew fortunately prevented the raft from taking him away with the river’s current, Dustin was hurt in the chest by the impact of the fall.

Regarding this scary accident which took place in “White Water”s fifth season, Dustin expressed his gratitude to his team for lending him a hand when he needed it the most: ‘we have to rely on each other to stay alive. It’s a big deal, and we do bond over this stuff because we’ve saved each other’s lives over and over’ he told Looper in 2021, admitting that it wasn’t the first time his crew went through a similar situation.

That being said, not even the most dangerous situations could take a man as strong-willed as Dustin out of the mining operation, as he’s obviously too caught-up by gold fever to quit just yet.

When Did Dustin and Fred Start Mining?

Sometimes life takes you to unexpected places, such as a mine somewhere in the US. That was the case for both Fred Hurt and his son Dustin, who ended up digging gold by chance.

Before setting foot in a mine, Dakota Fred split his time working in the construction industry and as a commercial diver, before retiring in 2004. That was when his son-in-law Paul Behm convinced him to go mining: ‘I agreed to go with him, and asked where he wanted to start. I was shocked, and delighted that he said ‘Alaska!’,’ Fred told the website Susan Writes Mysteries in 2015, admitting that his experience as a diver made it easier for him to adapt to the new adventure.

Although it’s unclear when exactly Dustin Hurt started mining, his story is similar to that of his father. Dustin used to work in the dirt industry, running excavators and other heavy machinery, before becoming a firefighter. However, being a hotshot didn’t go well, and that’s when he decided to give gold mining a try, liking it so much that he made it his full-time job. The transition between these careers wasn’t hard either, as putting his life at risk or simply getting his hands dirty is something Dustin has done his entire life.

Who Is In The Show Now?

Despite going through several changes in the last couple of seasons, there’s still a formidable crew to talk about when it comes to “White Water”.

Besides Dakota Fred and Dustin Hurt, other active members of the crew are James Hamm, Carlos Minor, Wes Richardson and his brother Paul, and Kayla Sheets. The returned to the series after being left out in the fourth season, taking the spotlight more often than before.

When it comes to the Hurt family, father and son are still dealing with the aftermath of Fred leaving the Dakota Boys. Although Fred hasn’t retired from mining, his appearances in the show are much fewer than before, but it wouldn’t be a “White Water” season if he wasn’t there.

It’s still unclear what will happen to the show, and how much its sixth season break might affect it, but it’s certain that all the crew still have lots of mining places to explore, and challenges to face.

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