Mushroom Collection

Mushroom Collecting Permits

The Deschutes, Fremont-Winema, Umpqua and Willamette National Forests offer a shared free use and commerical/personal use mushroom permit for all mushroom species except Matsutake mushrooms. Please see the Matsutake mushroom section for details on Matsutake mushroom collection season and permits.

A valid permit is required for both free use and commerical/personal use collection of general mushroom species.

Permit Type Fee Quantity of Mushrooms
Free Use No Charge 2 gallons/day for up to 10 calendar days/year
Commercial / Personal Use $2/day with a 10 day ($20) minimum; or $100 annual permit (valid 1/1 - 12/31) Unlimited

Everyone must have a valid permit (be 18 years or older), and have a harvest area map in their possession to gather, transport or sell mushrooms gathered on participating National Forests. All species of free use mushrooms will be cut in half lengthwise, stem through cap, and both halves separated at the time of harvest.

To obtain a free use or commerical mushroom collecting permit, please contact your local Forest Service office. Offices may be operating with intermittently reduced hours and/or services due to staffing shortages. We recommend calling ahead to verify the office you're interested in visiting is open and issueing permits.

Deschutes National Forest

  • Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District 63095 Deschutes Market Road, Bend, OR 97701, 541-383-5300
  • Sisters Ranger District:  541-549-7700
  • Crescent Ranger District 136471 Hwy 97 N Crescent, OR 97733, 541-433-3200

Fremont-Winema National Forest

  • Chemult Ranger District 110500 Highway 97 N Chemult, OR 97731,  541-365-7001
  • Chiloquin Ranger District 38500 Highway 97 N, Chiloquin, OR 97624, 541-783-4001
  • Klamath Ranger District 2819 Dahlia St., Klamath Falls, OR 97601, 541-883-6714

Willamette National Forest

  • Detroit Ranger District 44125 North Santiam Highway SE Detroit, OR 97342, 503-854-3366
  • Sweet Home Ranger District 4431 Highway 20 Sweet Home, OR 97386, 541-367-5168
  • McKenzie River Ranger District 57600 McKenzie Hwy McKenzie Bridge, OR 97413, 541-822-3381
  • Middle Fork Ranger District 46375 Highway 58 Westfir, OR 97492, 541-782-2283

Mushroom Harvest Regulations 

  • Everyone must have a valid permit and a harvest area map in their possession to gather, transport or sell mushrooms gathered on participating National Forests.
  • Harvesters must be 18 or older and have valid identification to purchase a permit.
  • All tools for matsutake harvest will not exceed 1” (one inch) and 18” (eighteen inches) long; raking or other ground disturbance prohibited.
  • Written permission is required to camp on any National Forest while harvesting mushrooms commercially and will be allowed only in areas designated by the Forest Service. Camping spaces may be limited and a fee may be charged.
  • Commercial mushroom picking is prohibited within: Crater National Park, Newberry National Volcanic Monument, H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, Davis Late Successional Reserve, Research Natural Areas, Wildernesses, Developed Recreation Areas and other designated non-harvest areas.

Matsutake Mushrooms

The 2023 season for commericially harvesting Matsutake mushrooms on the Deschutes National Forest begins Tuesday, September 5 and runs through November 6.

A commercial permit must be purchased to pick any Matsutake mushroom on National Forests that is harvested for resale. Permits cost $200 for the 62-day season, $100 for a half-season permit (valid for 31 consecutive days) or $8 per day with a three-day minimum purchase (picking days do not need to be consecutive). Harvesters must be 18 years of age or older and have a valid ID to purchase a permit.


Photo of Matsutake MushroomsMatsutake mushrooms are simple plants known as fungi. Unlike green plants, fungi cannot use sunlight to make food, but fungi use other living organisms or dead organic matter for food. Fungi have many important roles in the forest. They help break down and return dead plant material to the soil for use by other plants. They are a food source for many animals including insects, squirrels, and deer. They can help plants and trees resist disease.

The fleshy portion or "mushroom" of the Matsutake is really the fruiting portion of the fungus. A mushroom is similar in function to an apple or other fruit in that it carries the reproductive structure. Instead of seeds, millions of tiny spores are produced along the gills of the mushroom. These spores are spread by wind when the cap of the mushroom is open. Like a seed, spores will germinate and grow when conditions are right.

Fruiting or mushroom production requires specific conditions. A lack or rain, for example, can result in a season where few mushrooms are produced. According to studies in Japan, the thickness of the duff layer and the density of the trees also influence Matsutake production.

Matsutakes receive their nutrition through the living roots of nearby trees in a special relationship where both trees and fungi benefit. This is called a mycorrhizal relationship. The main portion of Matsutake's are below ground and consist of interwoven rootlike threads called mycelium. The mycelium fibers surround and penetrate tree roots, hence the mycorrhizal relationship.

These "extra roots" enable the tree to obtain more nutrients and water; and helps protect the tree from disease-causing organisms. The fungus, in turn, obtains vital food products it cannot manufacture itself. Neither the trees or the Matsutake can survive without each other. Maintaining an abundance of mycorrhizal fungi is critical to overall forest health.


Photo of Matsutake Mushrooms

The Deschutes, Umpqua, Willamette, and Fremont-Winema National Forests are cooperating with scientists to study these issues. The long-term effects of picking will be compared with mushroom production. Timber harvest methods on mushroom production will also be evaluated.

Location and Season

The Matsutake season usually starts after Labor Day weekend. The first mushrooms come up in the higher elevation forests of fir, hemlock, and ponderosa pine. Later the Matsutake can be found in almost all forest areas including pure lodgepole pine above 4500 feet elevation. Check with mushroom buyers to locate potential picking areas.

Buying & SellingPhoto of harvested Matsutake Mushrooms.

Most Matsutake mushrooms are shipped directly to Japan where they are used for food and flavorings in soups, etc. Matsutakes are sold based on five separate grades. The mushrooms are graded by age and any damage.

Buyers can be found on main roads and are highly visible. Buyers will help with identification, cleaning, care, and grade. Prices will vary greatly by the grade. The prices also vary daily depending on the mushroom market.


Picking Requirements

Improper picking techniques can destroy Matsutake mushroom habitat. Three simple steps will ensure future crops of Matsutake.

  1. Locate Matsutake's by watching for small bumps in the duff or litter layer. Carefully clearing the duff off the mushroom to get a good idea where the base is may be necessary. Searching by raking the duff ruins the mushroom and destroys the mycelium, don't do it! Damaged mushroom stems or caps have little or no value.
  2. Extract the mushroom by inserting a narrow object like a stick or knife under the base prying up and out of the ground. Damage can be minimized by prying straight up. Remove any dirt now with the mushroom upright to keep the gills clean. Using a narrow tool will reduce damage to the mycelium ensuring a future crop, maybe as soon as three or four days later.
  3. Replace any dirt and duff, patting firmly in place, since this helps protect the mycelium. Without mycelium mushrooms will not grow.

Remember, raking the duff or litter layer can ruin mushrooms and destroy future crop potential.