Outdoors notes: May means morel mushroom hunting season

A morel mushroom emerges in full
A morel mushroom emerges in full "bloom" on April 29, 2014. (Ken Vanden Heuvel )

Let’s see, April’s cool rainy weather has evolved to sunshine and warming.

It’s prime time for mushrooming!

Hot spots, so to speak, for finding morel mushrooms are areas that have burned in the past few years.  But Ken Vanden Heuvel snapped the photo above on Tuesday in an unburned lowland forest area noting it’s the first time he’s seen a morel mushroom along a local trail he was hiking.  You never know.

Be advised that there are rules, both ethical and legal, governing mushroom picking.

The Dishman Hills Natural Area, for instance, is not open to mushrooming or removing any of the area’s natural resources.  The urban nature preserve is protected as a conservancy for all to observe, study and enjoy. Removing the natural resources takes the experience away from everyone.

The Umatilla National Forest allows anyone to pick mushrooms. However, a permit is required if you transport more than one gallon in Oregon or more than five gallons in Washington.

Expert mushroomers who want to maintain the resource they enjoy year after year recommend carrying your mushrooms as you harvest them in a net bag to allow residual spores to spread for future mushroom production.

Fishing pamphlet

Washington’s new 2014-15 fishing regulations pamphlet, with rules that go into effect today, is available at license dealers and online.

While this isn’t a major year for fishing rule changes, be sure to check the regs for seasons and rules for each water and species you intend to fish.  Many waters have size and gear restrictions that may not apply to other waters.

For most people, a 2014-15 fishing license is required before they can wet a line. The licenses are good through March 31, 2015. The exception is young people under age 15, who can fish for free.

Licenses and permits are available online and from sporting goods stores and other retail license dealers around the state.

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Rich Landers

Rich Landers

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