Category Archives: Mushroom Hunting

Yachats Village Mushroom Fest

Friday, October 17 – Sunday, October 19

The Yachats Village Mushroom Fest is one of the best weekend long festivals in all of Oregon. This tiny coastal village nestled between lush temperate rainforest and the wild Pacific surf provides ideal habitat for mushrooms and mushroom lovers. Experts and enthusiasts from all around the state meet to have a great time and deepen their understanding of mushrooms, the role of fungi in forest ecology, how to grow culinary mushrooms, and how to use mushrooms in the culinary and textile arts.

All Weekend Long

Fungi Exhibits

Jessie Uehling, 2010 Scholarship Recipient

Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

New Location: Yachats Lions Hall, W 4th St. and Pontiac (behind Yachats Commons on 4th St.) [#19].

Free Admission

10060778915_a9acf4152c_kNative Forest Fungi Displays and Educational Exhibits Provided and staffed by the Lincoln County Mycological Society, Cascade Mycological Society, and North American Truffling Society. Displays and exhibits will include fresh examples of both edible and toxic wild mushrooms, posters, books and other materials presenting current research on the ecology of wild mushrooms, and an opportunity to ask questions and chat about fungi with people who know and love them!

Guided Mushroom Walks

Guided Walks Schedule

  • Saturday: Walks are scheduled every half hour from 10:00 am to 3 pm.
  • Sunday: Walks are scheduled every half hour from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm.

Chris Leading Mushroom Walk

Register Online

19 guided mushroom walks of various levels (A-D) are offered on easy trails in the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area. Maximum of 12 people on each walk. All walks are free, but pre-registration is required. Select a walk # from the walks schedule above and register online (Brown Paper Tickets). Maximum Read more »

Mushroom Picking Permit Information

You should always check with all the federal agencies on whose lands you may pick before the beginning of each mushroom season to find out what the latest regulations are. The intent of these regulations is to ensure continued availability and sustainability of our country’s forest resources.

On CMS sponsored forays we usually visit federal lands, and you may need a permit. Obtaining a FREE USE PERMIT before the trip is strongly encouraged. If you are not picking on federal lands, make sure that you have the correct type of permission from the landowner.

Bureau of Land Management: Eugene District

In western Oregon, the Bureau of Land Management is responsible for two million acres of forest in a checkerboard ownership pattern. These forests provide important habitat for many threatened and endangered fish and wildlife species and are considered some of the most productive forests in the world.

The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.

Special Forest Products is a term used to describe vegetative material found on public lands that can be harvested for recreation, personal use, or as a source of income. Permits are issued on Wednesdays from 8:00am–11:00am and 12:30pm–3:00pm. Several products are available for collection on either a personal or commercial use basis through the Eugene District BLM office. Permits are at least a $10 minimum, unless free use collection is allowed. Visit the BLM website or contact the Eugene District office at 541-683-6600 or for details on availability and cost.

The Umatilla, Wallowa-Whitman and Malheur National Forests of northeast Oregon have created a mushroom guide to help understand some of the rules and regulations surrounding mushroom picking. It is currently available on all three forest websites and can also be obtained at any of the Ranger District offices of the Forests.

For more information about how to get a permit, fees, product availability, or regulations covering collection, please contact the Forest Service office nearest your intended activity.

Local Resources:

Are you a Senior?

You are eligible for a lifetime National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass. You do have to be a US citizen or permanent resident and age 62 or more. With this pass you have free access to more than 2000 federal recreation sites. It covers entrance fees at national parks and national wildlife refuges. It also covers entrance and standard amenity fees for a driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle where you would normally have to pay. More information can be found at

The False “Beefsteak” Morel (Gyromitra esculenta)

Article by Bruce Pandoff
Included here with permission by

It is mushroom season in many parts of the US and morels are some of the most prized popping up at this time. They are considered easy to identify but there are some potentially deadly lookalikes growing in the forest and making their entrance at the same time. The false morel, commonly known as Beefsteak Morel, or Gyromitra esculenta is one of these such poisonous mushrooms and is a common mushroom for beginning mycophagists (mushroom hunters) to poison themselves with.

Before consuming any mushroom I highly recommend seeking the in person tutelage of an expert in the field of mycology or otherwise foraging expert. Look for groups and clubs that often are lead by these experts. Check bulletin boards at libraries, civic centers, college universities, and local co-op stores for such postings by these groups seeking members. If all else fails, search the internet for a local group. I am adamant about the seeking of experts and will rarely teach about edible mushrooms except for a very small selection for the simple fact that there are expert mycologist that poison themselves each year where as I gladly teach others about plants as this phenomenon with mycologists rarely happens with botanists. As you progress always keep in mind, there are old mycophagist and there are brave mycophagist, but there are no old brave mycophagist. Often how we find out if a mushroom is poisonous is due to those brave souls finding out for us and the mycological community learning from the toxicology report. Venture forth carefully.

Here is the poisonous lookalike of the prized morel, Gyromitra esculenta. It often grows under conifers such as balsam, pine and spruce. Fruiting bodies (mushrooms) may be found in spring but summer and fall are the predominate fruiting periods.

The mushroom from a distance or to the beginner may look like a morel, but upon closer inspection key identifying features will be revealed. The surface is not truly pitted, it is wrinkled, folded, and convoluted where as true morels will be pitted like a sponge.

The stem may be white, cream, or have a slight yellow tint. When cut open the stem is solid though may have air pockets. A true morel will be hollow all the way through.

It had previously been thought that these mushrooms could be parboiled, the water discarded, to be made edible but recent evidence indicates that this is in no way a reliable method of removing all the poisons. This species and other false morels cause poisoning through a compound known as Monomethylhydrazine which is found in jet fuel. When poisoned, the victim’s symptoms will be delayed anywhere from six to twelve hours. Eventually, fatigue, headache, abdominal pain, and occasionally watery diarrhea may occur. In more extreme cases, liver damage, delirium, and occasionally death will occur. There are no antidotes as of yet. There are plenty of other edibles to learn out that do not requiring doctoring to be made edible making Gyromitra not worthwhile.

Note: Before consuming any wild vegetation or plants please consult an expert. This is for informational purposes only!

Common Mushroom Checklist

This file contains a Common Mushroom Checklist for the Pacific Northwest area, composed of species commonly found and displayed at the Mount Pisgah Arboretum Annual Mushroom Show, during the 1983 – 2002 years.

Important guidlines to follow when collecting and eating wild mushrooms…

There are many species of delicious wild mushrooms which grow in our area, and learning to find and enjoy these gifts is satisfying on many levels. Caution should be exercised as there are many species that are not considered edible and may cause various levels of discomfort if eaten, and a handful that contain potent toxins that can cause permanent organ damage, or even death. For your safety and enjoyment, please follow these guidelines, and always remember: “when in doubt, throw it out!”.

  • Every mushroom you plan to eat should be ACCURATELY IDENTIFIED as an edible species.
    Despite folklore to the contrary, there are no simple guidelines which will separate edibles from other species. You must assume the responsibility to identify all wild mushrooms you collect to eat with 100% confidence. Many edible species have toxic look-alikes; learn what these are, and don’t rely only on photographs or drawings!
  • Never eat raw mushrooms.
    This applies to all mushrooms: improved digestibility, flavor, available nutrition and the elimination of some potentially harmful substances all result from thorough cooking. However, be aware that cooking will not eliminate all types of toxins and will not make poisonous mushrooms edible.
  • When trying a mushroom species for the first time…
    Eat only ‘two’ cooked teaspoons of one species, and wait at least 24 hours before eating any more of that species or trying another new species. A few people have an allergy to one particular mushroom species, just as some people are allergic to shrimp, wheat, dairy or other foods. If you are eating new species for the first time, and you eat more than one species and have a reaction you won¹t know which species you are allergic to. So sample new species one at a time (one per day maximum), and for the first sample, limit to two teaspoons. Keep a whole, uncooked sample of the mushroom species in your refrigerator in case the identification needs to be confirmed later.
  • Do not consume alcohol when trying a mushroom for the first time.
    Wait until you are sure you are not allergic to a particular species before having it with wine or beer. When consuming a new mushroom species, the presence of alcohol may produce stronger allergic reactions. Also, one species of the genus Coprinus (the shaggy manes) reacts with alcohol resulting in uncomfortable symptoms. Before eating any shaggy mane, learn to identify the one which causes this reaction, and its look-alikes.
  • Only eat fresh mushrooms.
    You wouldn’t eat moldy or rotting produce from the grocery store -the same should be true for wild mushrooms.
  • Do not eat fungi growing on ornamental trees. In some cases toxins in the wood may be incorporated into the fungal tissue. (A recent instance of illness in Eugene was reported from eating Laetiporus growing on black locust).
  • Be aware of where you are collecting your edibles.
    Mushrooms can readily pick up chemicals from the environment. Never consume edible species from a lawn where fertilizers or pesticides might have been applied. Avoid collecting along busy roads or anywhere near old dump sites. Do not eat fungi growing on ornamental trees. In some cases toxins in the wood may be incorporated into the fungal tissue. A recent instance of illness in Eugene was reported from eating Laetiporus (sulphur shelf or chicken-of-the-woods) growing on black locust.

ENJOY! Having an understanding and appreciation of the variety and beauty that surrounds us in the fungal world will enrich your diet and your life!

Version 2003.10

Forays — General Information

Liability Waiver

Participants on all trips will be asked to sign a standard waiver form.
To save time, you can download the waiver now (click here), print, sign, and bring it on the foray.
You can also download a PDF copy of our edibility guidelines (click here).

Equipment and Gear needed: *Always be prepared for wet conditions.*

*Most Important: A watch to keep track of the time.
*Rain gear, waterproof boots/shoes and a change of clothes and socks.
*Mushroom Basket, Pocket Knife, and/or soft brush for wiping mushrooms clean.
*Identification Books (optional, there will be identification on site),
*Lunch and some sweets or snacks that will give you energy to last through the day.
*A partner to survey with and help keep track of (can be assigned at foray).

Mushroom Picking Permits

You should always check with all the federal agencies on whose lands you may pick before the beginning of each mushroom season to find out what the latest regulations are. If you are not picking on federal lands, make sure that you have the correct type of permission from the landowner.

On CMS-sponsored forays we usually visit federal lands, and you may need a permit. Obtaining a FREE USE PERMIT from the Willamette National Forest office (downtown Eugene) or a Ranger District Office before the trip is strongly encouraged.(Click here for additional mushroom permit information)