Places where wildfires have been equal good places to hunt morel mushrooms. Michigan is giving morel hunters a boost with a map of last year's fires.
Each location on the map is at least 10 acres in size, and is of forested covertypes, as grassy or other non-forest ground covers generally will not produce morels mushrooms as do forested ground covers.
Jim Fisher, resource protection manager for the DNR Forest Resources Division said that the department is responding to requests from citizens, by formatting and releasing the map to the public. "Each spring we get calls from people who are seeking details on those sites to hunt morels," he says. "We've enhanced the features of this map to give our customers the information they are looking for in a mobile-friendly, easily accessible package."
But the locations shown on the map do not guarantee morels will be there.
The map itself cautions:
Please note that this map may provide details on the covertype that was burned; it's up to the user to investigate whether morel mushrooms will grow at any location included in the map. A location's inclusion on this map does not mean morels will be at the area identified.
"Just because a spot is marked on the map, it doesn't mean morels will be growing at the area identified," says Fisher. "We're providing a resource, but it's up to the hunters to head out to the forest and see what's available."
The fire location are identified with orange and red dots. You "select an orange or red dot to see the total acreage of the fire and the latitude and longitude coordinates. Zoom in to an orange or red dot to see the forest covertype information (if available)". There are significantly more dots on the eastern Michigan side than in the Upper Peninsula, which has only three locations identified.
Please be careful in identifying morels. The Michigan DNR takes no responsibility for accurate identification of mushrooms harvested.