Selling Chanterelle Mushrooms - Can They Be Overharvested

by Craig

I have only been mushroom hunting for 4 years, but I've found some places near me where you can pick pounds and pounds of them.

I have been selling some to supplement my income and have no real idea what they are worth, but at $12.00 a pound I have never had a problem.

I only harvest the freshest and cleanest, about 1/3 of what I find. Yet I wonder if I could over-pick and spoil their growth.

Also, last year local restaurants have had trouble with the Health Department. They're saying it is unsafe and can no longer purchase from me without problems. This needs to change. Local gourmet chefs love them. You should see their eyes when I show them a box full of fresh, beautiful Chanterelle mushrooms.

Any comments would be appreciated.

Comments for Selling Chanterelle Mushrooms - Can They Be Overharvested

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by: Anonymous

The answer is "YES" they can be overharvested. Also when people who dont know anything about the mushrooms go into the woods to pick they pull them right up out of the ground thus preventing the mushrooms from coming back at all .We here at the Long Beach Peninsula have had alot of trouble with this problem and would like to say " if you go mushrooming bring a knife and CUT them DONT PULL the mushrooms out!

by: Anonymous

Over harvesting will prevent/decrease spores which maintain genetic diversity and develop new patches. Also, to many people or one person too often and carelessly stomping around in wet conditions can compact soil and make conditions less favorable for the mycelia.

Fresh chantrell mushrooms
by: Anonymous

I found a very larg patch of chanterell mushrooms so call 1 417 317 1900.i don't want to pick them until i got them sold.

Chanterelle Mushrooms
by: Sarah

I was wondering if anyone knows where I can sell chantrella mushrooms in Hammond Louisiana or surrounding areas??? Please comment an let me know asap if have a bunch. Thank You!!

Picking wild mushrooms
by: Anonymous

Some of you do not have simple idea how to care for the mushrooms! NEVER pick them in a mesh bag you break the mushrooms apart! Best to pick is open basket or plastic bucket.

selling chantrelle mushrooms
by: Anonymous

where can I sell my chantrelle mushrooms in Oregon

Tree harvest
by: craig

All the nice old woods where I have been finding Chanterelle have been logged. Dozer also did its fair share of damage. Will not be seeing Chants. in these spots anymore. To much sun and no mature trees left. Guess will have to find some new areas. Logging seem to be very popular near me this year.


Paul Stamets recommends harvesting two mushrooms and then leaving one mature mushroom. Cut the mushroom off at the base with a knife or scissors so that the stem butt and mycelium are not disturbed

Saving your crop
by: Anonymous

Some good tips in securing a future harvest.
1. Cut the mushrooms off above ground with a knife, avoid pulling up the roots.
2. Tap the cap of the mushroom on the ground around the area where you pick in order to release spores.
3. transport your harvest in a mesh bag. this will allow further spores to fall through and spread to other areas.
4. don't tell anyone where you pick.

who will buy Chanterelles in my area?
by: Anonymous

I have an awesome abundance of beautiful white Chanterelle mushrooms waiting to be foraged but do not want to pick them if I cannot eat them. Is there anybody in Kitsap county or surrounding areas who would buy them?

2012 no mushroom in ohio
by: Anonymous

No need to wory about finding anything this year in NE Ohio. Have been getting some rain but wonder if it is to late.

by: Amy

Wow, great input from Mike. I'd love to see more research done on various species' tolerance to over harvesting. Until then, like so many variables, concepts, and phenomena in nature, we rely on the observations of those who have studied them for years.

Mike's comment is a great reminder to think about your harvesting practices and the species in question before you begin picking.

All evidence is pointing to chanterelles being pretty resilient. Maybe I can pick a little extra at my harvest spots this year. ;)

My two cents...
by: Mike Vaughn

I have harvested wild mushrooms since 1985. I started with Chanterelles and continue to harvest several wild mushroom species here in Oregon.

I believe that the fruiting body of this mushroom cannot be over harvested, but that their mycelial beds can be damaged by incorrect harvest and timber management practices. That said, the chanterelle, in my opinion, is one of the most resilient of mushroom species, and recolonizes at a fairly rapid pace - unlike the Matsutake, which can become quickly diminished through poor harvest and forest management methods, and may take years for them to recolonize.

Further,truffle species can sustain tremendous damage to their mycelial network, since the predominant method of harvest, here in the U.S., involves raking the duff with metal forks. For this reason, I believe Northwest truffle harvesting, as it is done now, is unsustainable. The good news for the Northwest's truffle is the growing use of dogs to sniff out this prized treasure.

The short of my opinion: every mushroom species is different; some being resilient, some not so much; and, harvest methods definitely matter.

Selling Chanterelle Mushrooms - Can They Be Overharvested
by: Craig

Wish I could make it to California for some mushroom hunting someday.
Some research I have found say that over harvest can also affect the trees they grow with.
So far year to year haven't noticed any change in the areas I have found. Will have to see over time.
There is no competition for them around my area and most people have no clue what they are missing. Will have to take a picture or two this year and share. If you have ever seen a woods full of Chanterelle in bloom it is quite a sight.
Cannot wait for there apperance this year.

by: Amy

This is a great question, Craig. It's one that I feel I haven't explored enough on this site. Can we over harvest mushrooms? At what point should one stop picking? How much is too much?

First off, it's great that you're even asking that question. So many people just take all they can get without giving any thought to the long-term repercussions to both the environment and their business. That said, yes I believe it's totally possible to over harvest mushrooms. Without enough of the fruiting bodies, spores will not be dropped to replenish the species. Satellite colonies won't appear, and the mycelium may exhaust the supply of local nutrients.

Removing a large quantity of anything from the environment is going to have an effect, even if it's one you can't immediately quantify.

At what point this happens, I personally cannot say. There was an interesting article by the SF Gate a few years ago that quotes some famous mycologists and their take on the issue:

Wild Mushrooms Less Precarious Than Feared

Interesting to your situation is that they paraphrase David Pilz saying:

Likewise, chanterelles, a prized fall variety especially abundant in Northern California, generally stand up well to harvesting. That's because they ripen over several weeks, distributing their spores a few at a time, he said. In any chanterelle zone, some mushrooms are always dropping spores.

So if you're just one person who's leaving a third of his chanterelles behind, you're probably okay. Keep an eye on their patches and see how they do over time.

As for the Health Department, that is a shame. I do see the need to protect public health and safety, but I don't see them doing anything about the toxic chemicals and preservatives in all the processed food on the grocery shelves. If you're experienced, the restaurant inspects your wares, and the mushrooms are sold to the public as "wild harvested" then the government needs to butt out.

I definitely don't consider myself an expert on the topic of over harvesting, so I'd love to hear other opinions on the matter!

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