Energy, Mines and Resources

Fact Sheets

Morel mushroom harvesting for commercial purposes

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Do I need a permit to harvest morel mushrooms on Yukon public lands?

You need a Commercial Harvest of Morel Mushrooms Forest Resources Permit to harvest morel mushrooms for commercial purposes only. You do not need a permit for personal use. A commercial permit authorizes you to harvest morels and outlines any conditions you must meet.

Always carry your morel permit with you when harvesting morels for commercial use in Yukon.

If you don’t get a permit or don’t carry your permit with you, you can be fined under the Summary Convictions Act. Other charges also could be laid, depending on the nature of the offence.

There are no fees for a Commercial Harvest of Morel Mushroom Forest Resources Permit.


Why do I need a permit for harvesting morel mushrooms?

Requiring a permit to harvest morel mushrooms for commercial use helps the Yukon government ensure public safety and environmental responsibility. It also ensures that forest users contribute to sustainable and responsible use of our natural resources. Morel mushrooms are a delicacy and a prized ingredient in gourmet cooking. Harvesting them responsibly means carefully considering other users of the forest and public land.


Where can I get a permit to harvest morel mushrooms and where do I find maps?

Permits for commercial harvesting of morel mushrooms and wildfire maps are available from Compliance Monitoring and Inspections district offices. Wildfire maps are also available online from Wildland Fire Management.

Your permit only allows you to pick mushrooms on vacant public lands and in designated areas. The Yukon Lands Viewer mapping tool is a good resource to identify public land. Be aware that some public lands have traditional or historic values or may be used actively by local residents.

More information on morel mushrooms can be found on the morels & other mushrooms page. For information on current fire bans, recent fire activity and road closures, contact the Wildfire Update line at 1-800-826-4750.


Can I set up a camp?

A morel mushroom permit does not authorize you to cut trees or erect any permanent structures. For camps of more than two people for more than 100 person days and for information on setting up a camp on public land, please contact the Land Management Branch at (867) 667-5215.

Campsites must be left clean, safe and sanitary. The Yukon government supports no trace camping which encourages forest users to take out everything they bring in. Improper storage and disposal of food, garbage, and other animal attractants is an offence under the Wildlife Act. Encounters with wildlife are to be reported right away to the Conservation Officer Services in the nearest community or call toll free at 1-800-661-0408, ext. 8005.


How do I identify morels? Why do I have to be careful when identifying morels?

There are a number of varieties of edible wild morels. Some species you see in wild mushroom guides include Morchella esculenta, and M. deliciosa and M. crassipes, commonly known as the Yellow Morel, and M. conica, M. elata and M. angusticeps, commonly known as the Black Morel. Because of the chance of poisoning, the harvester must be extremely careful to pick the right mushroom. Consulting a number of up-to-date mushroom guides is advised.


WARNING!

Some wild mushrooms that look similar to edible morels are very poisonous. Even experienced pickers have been known to harvest “false morels” by mistake. There are important guidelines for the proper handling, preparation and consumption of edible morels. For example, morels should be cooked for at least five minutes and should never be eaten raw within 72 hours of drinking alcohol.

If you are unsure about the identity of harvested species, separate them into a different container from your morels. Get them examined in more detail by an experienced picker, a mycologist or at a buying station.

Beginners should always pick with an experienced person. Experimental consumption of unknown species is never recommended and could be lethal.

Contact Us: 

Mile 918 Alaska Highway
Box 2703, Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2C6
Phone: 867.456.3999 / 1.800.661.0408 ext. 3999
Fax: 867.667.3138
E-mail: forestry@gov.yk.ca