Monday, April 04, 2011

Morel Reports and Regulations

More confirmations that they have arrived in Mid-MO keep showing up. Here is one from Mark B. who just couldn't pass up a few young grays he found on Sunday. Way to go Mark and thanks for sending in the report.

Hopefully most of the ones out there are still small and underneath the leaf litter so they are protected from the freezing temperatures tonight. I expect a few who are poking their heads out will have some frost damage on their tops, but the rest will resume growing again as the temps pick up the rest of the week.

In other news, I saw that morels had made their way into this month's MDC Conservationist. In the ask the ombudsman section, where a conservation staffer answers readers questions, they discuss the general regulations for picking morels on most public land that you will find in MO. Here is the Q&A for those who don't want to follow the link:

Q: I want to go morel hunting this spring. What are the regulations regarding collecting them from public land?

A: Most public lands allow mushroom collecting for personal consumption (noncommercial purposes) and no permit is required. Collecting is allowed on conservation areas except on the grounds of several conservation nature centers and our headquarter office grounds in Jefferson City. Missouri’s state parks allow collecting and specify a limit of two gallons per person per visit. Mark Twain National Forest allows collecting with no quantity specified.

(source: MDC Conservationist, April 2011 - Volume 72, Issue 4, [accessed 4-4-11])

The only thing I would add to this is if you are looking at a city park be sure to check for specific regulations. Most cities do not have any regulations or their regulations mirror the state's in that you can pick for personal consumption. However, a few do have specific restrictions. I will never forget the day I had just spent an hour picking trumpets and chanterelles in a St. Louis Park only to have a police officer come over and order me to dump my basket because St Louis County has an ordinance that does not allow mushing picking in their parks. It was hard enough with chants, it would be an even harder lesson to learn after having to give up a nice mess of morels.


Anonymous said...

I came across the St. Louis county regulation AGAINST picking mushrooms while visiting Fort Bellefontaine in north SL county. Luckily, the guard told me about it on the way IN.

-- Feral Boy

Anonymous said...

Well, it's good to keep in mind that not all public land in St. Louis County are County parks. County park rangers are strict, though; I'll confirm that based on personal experience.

Also, Feral Boy, I've been hunting up there in Fort Bellefontaine, too. I told the guards why I was there and they were too nice, no problems--I think they would have been happy for me had I found something, which I didn't. Oh well. It was in the fall. I was looking for hens around those gigantic oaks they've got there.

Glad to hear you and Camoshroomer are hitting them, Stan.

STL etc

Anonymous said...

I guess sometimes it depends on who is watching the gate. Best thing to do is check regulations first, and even if they're in your favor, don't argue with the man in the hat.

Feral Boy