The arrival of warm weather and sunlight brings with it an adventurous season for mushroom picking.
Many kinds of edible mushrooms grow throughout the forests of Flathead County, including morels, chanterelles, shaggy mane, puffballs, boletes, and oyster mushrooms. The Forest Service welcomes mushroom collecting on the Flathead National Forest, but emphasizes caution when foraging for mushrooms. Some poisonous mushrooms occur in this region and can be hard to distinguish from edible species.
Mushroom collecting on the Flathead National Forest can require a permit, and commercial harvesting is prohibited.
A personal-use permit is required for anyone collecting mushrooms in the 2015 Bear Creek and Trail Creek burned areas on the Spotted Bear Ranger District; and 2015 Glacier Rim, Sheep and Granite burned areas on the Hungry Horse/Glacier View Ranger District. Fees include $20 for 20 gallons; $40 for 40 gallons; $60 for 60 gallons; with a 60-gallon limit.
A free-use permit is required for anyone collecting between five and 20 gallons of mushrooms per season. There is a five-gallon per day possession limit.
For those picking for personal use, a permit is not required for collecting up to 5 gallons of mushrooms per person, per season. There is a one-gallon per day possession limit.
The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes implemented a rule prohibiting non-tribal members from harvesting mushrooms in 2012. A tribal member may have non-member children and spouse accompany and assist with mushroom harvest, provided that the non-member children and spouse have the required recreation permits in their possession.