What's better than wild, fresh mushrooms? Wild, fresh mushrooms you harvested yourself. As of Sept. 3, matsutake mushroom season is officially open in the Deschutes, Fremont-Winema, Umpqua and Willamette National Forests. The season goes through Nov. 3. People who plan to sell mushrooms commercially need a permit to harvest them. The least expensive option is the $8 day permit—available at a three-day minimum. Half-season permits are $100, and full season permits are $200. People have to be at least 18 and show a valid I.D. to get a commercial permit.
Harvesting mushrooms commercially has become such a popular activity that the Forest Service designates a campground for harvesters at Little Odell Mushroom Camp near Crescent Lake. Contact the Crescent Ranger District at 541-433-3200 for information on the camp.
If you're a newbie to identifying mushrooms, check out the Central Oregon Mushroom Club at mushroomsinbend.org. The Central Oregon Mushroom Club's first meeting of the fall season takes place Thursday, Sept. 12 at 6:30 pm at Trinity Episcopal Church in Bend.