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Jun 7, 2010 10:15 PM

2010 Bay Area mushroom hunting report

Greetings to all - my first post here. I'm passionate about food and hunting for delicasies helps those morsels taste even better! The Bay Area chanterelle season usually goes from November through March.

This years Golden Chanterelle season was phenomenal....

The Morel season is also very very good this year - the 4 - 5,000 ft area is over but 5 - 6,000 ft
is really good!

Now I'm just waiting on the Spring Kings to come into force - they are late this year due to our precipitous and cold spring.

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  1. I hope these photos can post!

    5 Replies
    1. re: echinoderminator

      So cool. I have always wanted to learn to hunt mushrooms. Just look at the bounty!

      1. re: echinoderminator

        Is there a good mycology club on the Peninsula you can recommend?


        1. re: fishhead

          There's no mushroom club based on the Peninsula, but the Mycological Society of San Francisco (www.mssf.org) has members from all over the Bay area.

          This area is lucky to have three great mycology clubs. In addition to the MSSF, there's the Fungus Federation of Santa Cruz (http://www.fungusfed.org/) and Sonoma County Mycological Association (http://www.somamushrooms.org/). As the original poster said, the main mushroom season in this area runs from November through March (the usual rainy season). The Sierra fruit morels and boletes after the snow melts in the spring, and summer boletes if there is good summer thunderstorm activity.

          Places in SF and the coast that see a lot of fog can get mushroom fruitings throughout the year if there is sufficient "fog drip".

            1. re: fishhead

              Let's not forget BAMS...

              BTW - Larry Stickney passed away June 12th - he'll be missed by many shroomers.

              I first met him when I was 10 yrs old - I found some Agaricus californicus in my backyard in Alameda and my parents, having read a recent article in the SF examiner that featured Larry, brought me and my agaricus over to Larry's house in Oakland and he identified them for me.
              Years later I called Larry out of the blue and said "hey Larry, I hear Craterellus cornucopioides is fruiting in the Pacific Northwest - wanna join me for a road trip?" we found alot of mushrooms on that little trip.

              Rest in Peace Larry.

      2. Can I ask if you have any recommendations on where to start looking for Morels in the area? I am a new transplant to Sonoma and every one looked at me like I had 3 heads when I started asking around.

        2 Replies
        1. re: katjo

          Currently morels are fruiting above 6,500 ft elevation. Hwy's 4, 108, 120, 88, 50, etc. Look for areas that have been logged recently. Burn areas are famously good but the logged areas are great and widespread in our National Forests. Campgrounds are also good places to look. I think if I were to be targeting morels right now I would head up Hwy 4 or Hwy 108. To find the areas take the little roads that wander off into the boonies.

          Boletus rex-veris is what I have been targeting lately. Spring Kings!

        2. Anyone care to disclose thier favorite location for bay area Matsutake? :-)

          5 Replies
          1. re: Nopa

            The Berkeley Bowl or Monterey Market are two reliable sources - is that what you mean? I've never found matsutake growing in the Bay Area if that is what you mean.

            They begin fruiting in late September in the Pacific NW and continue fruiting in various locations into december generally.

            Berkeley Bowl
            2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

            1. re: echinoderminator

              No I meant growing wild. I know that they do grow here. I am 100% certain. I'm almost certain that their bay area location won't be disclosed, hence the smiley face.

                1. re: Nopa

                  closest areas I know are San Mateo County and just east of San Jose - I would imagine Mt Tam has potential. They like ericaceous plants.

                  1. re: echinoderminator

                    also east of Watsonville (manznita at edges of mixed forest), Sierra foothills, below 4000ft. (madrone), Sonoma Coast (tanoak), San Mateo (tanoak) - they must be on Mt Tam.

            2. Went up Saturday and loaded up on Spring Kings and Red Capped Butter Boletes - (Boletus regius)

              2 Replies
              1. re: echinoderminator

                I found some nice plump kings a little over 6000 ft amongst manzanita, pine and cedar. Some very tasty Calvatia Puffballs as well.

                I found an interesting recipe for puffball miso soup at


                King season looks like it has more legs on it. Whats the latest you've found good specimens?

                1. Perhaps you would do better to join Mycological Society of San Francisco.

                2. I found a lone porcini this past weekend on the coast. Very unusual but welcome anyway.