Bulletin Staff Report

Commercial harvest of the matsutake mushroom, prized in East Asia for its spicy-aromatic odor, opens Sept. 3 in the Deschutes National Forest. The season runs until Nov. 3.

Matsutake mushroom collectors are required to buy a commercial permit if they are harvesting the mushrooms for resale.

Permits cost $200 for the full 62-day season or $100 for a half season. Permits are also available for $8 per day with a three-day minimum purchase — picking days do not have to be consecutive.

Other areas open to commercial harvesting include the Fremont-Winema, Umpqua and Willamette national forests. Permits are available at the Chemult, Chiloquin and Crescent ranger district offices Sept 3.

Matsutake mushrooms grow under trees, forming a symbiotic relationship with the root systems, but can be located by a distinctive bump on the forest floor. Collectors not only compete with each other for the mushrooms but also with forest creatures including rabbits, squirrels and deer.