Arkansas

Arkansas has Morels! Plenty of them! Ozark National Forest is a great area, as Early as the first of April. Look for Ashe trees, Oaks, Beech, Sycamores, along river banks, in the woodland lowlands.

Ouachita National Forest. Many reports from this area also. "Irons fork scenic area", "Dutch Creek Mountain Scenic Area"

Along the White River near Crockets Bluff.

Near "Gilbert" along the Buffalo River, big yellows, even in the grassy areas.

Yellow morels found in central Arkansas, Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2001 21:37:02 -0600. I have recently returned today (3-18-01) from a trip to my favorite morel site in the Arkansas River Valley. I saw 15 false morels, ~gyromitra~ ~caroliniana~, young, medium sized, and 10 young yellow morels. I feel that the next two weekends will be good for the collecting of yellow morels at this site. J.J.

Arkansas morels. Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2001 18:52:19 -0600. Collected 7 half free morels after about 3 hours of searching near the Arkansas River. Then went to the White River Nat. Wild. Ref. and found 7 false morels. Had never seen them before. Thought at first, when I spotted them from a distance, that I was on to the mother load. It was soon apparent that I wasn't. But, never-the-less it was an interesting find. With temperatures quite low during the last week things apparently slowed down. Temps reaching near 80 during the next few days should speed things up. Buffalo knats and mosquitos are horrendous. Sightings were south of Tischnor AR, near the Arkansas River. The hunt is on, Jerry L.

update for Arkansas River Valley area. Date: Mon, 02 Apr 2001 22:53:14 -0600 Central Daylight Time. Saturday, 3-31, collected about 60 yellow morels, some were still young in age (gray), but all were medium to large in size. None were old enough to toss out. Sunday 4-1, co-worker collected 40 yellows at same site. Plans are to return to site this coming Saturday and collect again. My feelings are that the morels will be near the end of their fruiting in this area this coming weekend. Best to move north after the next weekend. J.J.

Morels. Date: Tue, 03 Apr 2001 20:54:22 -0700. Found 5 small white morels today in a yard in the City of Harrison, Arkansas. Northwest Arkansas in the Ozarks. Very dry here and need rain, temperatures are good, 70 - 80 just the past few days. Late to find the first ones here, usually around the 25th of March. Happy Hunting!! Love the web site! Jim H. Harrison, AR

Arkansas morels. Date: Mon, 09 Apr 2001 19:19:23 -0500. Went to an area near the Buffalo River over the weekend and found morels at the base of ash trees and a few black morels at the base of red oak. Most were on south sides of hills. Only found 23 black and yellow morels after about 6 hours of looking. Steep hills sure make you wish your legs were less than mid 50's year old. Then, on Saturday, looked for several hours around bayous in the Cache River Nat. Wild. Refuge and found none. Air temps are in the high 80's. Seems winter turned into summer too fast. Black flies, ticks and mosquitos certainly add to the price of those few shrooms, but, never-the-less they are delicious. Hope to get back into the Ozarks soon. With summer temps the season will probably end soon. Jerry L. Stuttgart AR

morel mushrooms Date: Sat, 14 Apr 2001 11:36:58 -0500. Hello! My name is Dave and I am currently living in Russellville, Ark., it's about half way between Ft.Smith and Little Rock. Went out looking for morels on the 11th and 12th, but no sign of any. Not as familiar with hunting locations here as I am originally from Ill. For the most part, I am told that they grow around ash trees here. I think it was a little dry yet as there was little folage on the ground. May apples were up but sparse and not blooming. There are a lot of leaves on the ground due to a late fall so I know they will be difficult to spot, especially the small ones. I have spoken to people who have found some, but I am not sure where to look again. Today is Sat. the 14th and we are getting a steady rain. Temp. is cool in the low to mid 60's. May warm to 70 or so, but it is supposed to be in the 60's and 50's for highs next week and lows in the 40's and even 30's. I'm wondering if it may be getting too late here? It looks as though you are more familiar with the states north of here, but was hoping you might have some info. that could help me. I am going to Quincy, Ill. in a week or so. Am tracking spottings up there as best I can to find the most optimum time to depart. Would appreciate any insight you might have based on the little bit of info. I have given you. Hope your response, if available, is not too late. Waiting anxiously, Dave in Pope Co. Ark... Dave, From the other Sightings reported for AR, I would think there are still plenty of morels yet to make their appearance. I would think that the next two weeks would be great for the Quincy, IL area also - depending on moisture and temperature of course.

Arkansas morels. Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2001 20:51:30 -0500. Found a few morels that were just coming up in the area 30 miles north of Hector, AR on April 14 and had a friend that found quite a few near Fayettville, AR too. With the rain that day and the next there should be a lot of mushrooms coming up in northern Arkansas this weekend. Cool weather this week should keep them around for a while. Happy hunting. Jerry L.

Arkansas morels. Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2001 19:45:21 -0500. Went to an area near Fayetteville where my friend found quite a few morels last weekend (not 4/21) and found very few morels. Most of what I found were very dried up. Probably the result of freezing weather that we had during the first part of the week.. My wife and I searched through several areas of the Ozarks between Fayetteville and Pelzer AR and found few and those appeared to have been dried or frozen. My general impression is that the season has passed most of Arkansas unless you are in the far northern par of the state and on the north slopes. The variation between freezing temperatures and temperatures in the 80's and the infrequent rains seems to have reduced output this year. Hopefully next year will be better. Jerry L.

False Morels in Arkansas. Visited my morel site today (3-21). Did not see any morels but collected 3 false morels, Gyromitra caroliniana, two small ones, one medium sized. Area is close to Arkansas River in the Arkansas river valley area not too far from Petit Jean Mountain. - J.J. Michael Kuo of Eastern Illinois University explains the "false morels" at http://nt2.advant.com/kuocgi2/morels/falsemoreltypes.htmlalso visit http://www.morelmania.com/3196.html

Updated morel report from Arkansas. Date: Mon, 1 Apr 2002 10:17:33 -0600. I visited my morel site again on Thursday (March 28) and Sunday (March 31). I still did not see any yellow morels but collected several Gyromitra caroliniana to show people, not to eat. I am hopeful that this site will start producing morels this coming weekend and will continue to have morels the next weekend. - J.J.

morel sightings Date: 4-3-02. 22 small gray ones,VERY SMALL! 7 good size tan ones with a slight orange cast on the outer edges. These were found in different locations. This cold snap will probably set them back a little. Today only 50 degrees but we have had several warm days & lots of rain in March. Last night was cold and tonight suppossed to be 26. Not good. Happy hunting! Krs in Arkansas.

Yellow morels are up in Arkansas. I checked my morel site near Petit Jean Mountain on April 4. A 2.5 hour walk yielded about 25 grey (young yellow) morels of various sizes. This weekend and next week should be the best time to hunt in this area. - J.J.

Morels in Arkansas. Date: Mon, 08 Apr 2002 07:57:36 -0500. Found 6 grey morels in southern Arkansas County on Sat 5/6 and a single yellow morel in Village Creek State Park on Sunday 5/7. Did a lot of searching to find those but it was fun. Jerry L.

Arkansas morels. Collected 25 morels in Stone and Baxter counties in northern Arkansas 4/13-14. Most seemed to have just emerged. Many of the residents of northern Arkansas pick morels and its hard to beat them to the ash trees. This week should be quite good. With temperatures in the 80's the season might go by quickly. Jerry

Morels. Date: 13 April 2002, From Mark R. Found about a dozen greys and one yellow in northwest Arkansas (Boone County). Should be lots more this week.

Morels in Arkansas. Found about 55 medium to large morels in northern Pope and southern Newton counties on April 20 and 21. Forty four of them were under one ash tree, what a dream! This might be the last weekend for most of Arkansas. It was fun and I'm looking forward to next year already. I really enjoy watching this sightings page and think the link to the progression maps is great! Jerry

Date: Sat, 22 Mar 2003 10:00:12 -0600. Subject: AR Report. Went to my location in NW Arkansas near Siloam Springs today (03/22/03) and found nothing. This spot usually produces a small cache of morels and I am certain that it will again soon. ~Scott

From: Jim H. Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2003 14:33:28 -0800. Subject: First Mushrooms of 2003. Oh Joy to the World!!! Found seven small gray morels in the front yard of a business in Harrison, Arkansas today. Big yellows can't be far behind!!!! 3-26-03. Read this and weep brothers Larry, Denny and Don.

Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2003 10:07:13 -0600. Subject: Morels in North Central Arkansas. Tom, I went out yesterday (Thursday) to my favorite morel area not too far from Petit Jean State Park and over the course of 5 hours I collected over 250 gray (young yellow) morels! This calculates to 50 morels per hour - not a bad haul for an afternoon of walking in the woods. I am returning to the area on Saturday and perhaps Sunday. Judging from what I saw yesterday - it appears that morels may be fruiting in large numbers in Arkansas this year, so I am cautiously optimistic that this year may be a GREAT year for collecting morels in Arkansas. Jay J.

Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003. Subject: Update on morels in Arkansas. I visited my morel site this past Saturday and Sunday. Saturday I collected 146 gray and yellow morels and the largest Gyromitra caroliniana that I think I have ever seen. It weighted 4 lbs and 4 ounces and the head measured 19" in circumference at the widest point. It was a foot tall. Sunday I hunted for about 6 hours but only found about 46 more morels. I plan to visit the site one more time this coming Saturday and I am hoping to hit a mark of 500 morels collected this season on Saturday. This year is turning out to be a great year for morels in Arkansas at least based on the collections at the site where I hunt. Jay

Date: Wed, 2 Apr 2003 15:59:06 -0600. Subject: RE: picture of large false morel. I noticed you had some pics of morels on your sightings page and I just wanted to make the offer to send you a pic of the very large Gyromitra caroliniana if you think it would be a good pic to include on the sightings page. The circumference measured 19" at the widest part of the cap. It weighted 4 lbs., 4oz when removed from its natural habitat. I plan to visit my site one more time this coming Saturday and I will give my final report of the season for me in Arkansas after that visit. My next moreling event will be in Missouri the last weekend of April. Jay. A caution to readers - the mushroom pictured is a Gyromitra caroliniana. It is not a morel at all. This particular variety is edible - BUT is has many look-alikes that can be poisonous remember -if they're reddish, you could be deadish. See Michael Kuo's website. mushroomexpert.com

Date: Thu, 3 Apr 2003 10:34:15 -0600. Subject: Edibility of Gyromitra caroliniana. Tom, Apparently you and Michael Kuo differ in your opinion of the edibility of G. caroliniana. As you can see below, he says that it is not a safe edible."I am still of the opinion that it is not entirely a safe mushroom to eat and I do not recommend it to people - at least those that I like!, Jay.

Gyromitra caroliniana http://www.bluewillowpages.com/mushroomexpert/gyromitra.html

False Morel Toxicity http://www.bluewillowpages.com/mushroomexpert/false_morel_toxicity.html

This springtime false morel occurs in the Mississippi and Ohio valleys. Despite the fact that it is consumed by many, this mushroom is not a safe edible! See the page on False Morel Toxicity for further information.

Good catch Jay, Actually Michael and I agree completely in that neither one of us would consume the Gyromitra caroliniana or any of the red false morels. I meant to add that it is not a safe edible, which is why I referred to Michael's website. For those of you that want to read Michael's False Morel Toxicity report, I'm posting it here because it is important. You may also see it on Michael's page at the link. The information below is copyrighted so if you pass it on, you need to give credit to: Kuo, M. (2001). False morel toxicity. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.bluewillowpages.com/mushroomexpert/false_morel_toxicity.html

False Morel Toxicity Though it is rare, it is well documented that false morels can be fatally poisonous. The poison in false morels is MMH, or monmethylhydrazine (a chemical also found in rocket fuel). Though MMH is not understood completely by scientists, there is no question about whether it is poisonous or not. It appears that MMH may occur in different quantities in different false morels (even members of the same species), that its presence may vary according to geography, that its affect on people may vary between individuals, and that its toxicity may be cumulative (raising the possibility of eating false morels safely for years and then, one day, croaking after one bite). Clearly, MMH is not to be messed with.

Despite scientific evidence that false morels are poisonous, they are eaten by many people. I concede this point. Many mushroomers in our area scoff at warnings about the "beefsteak morel," since they have been picking and eating them for years. These people are lucky. It is quite possible that Old Bob could eat beefsteak morels for 20 years, and one day keel over in the kitchen just from breathing the fumes of the cooking mushrooms. It's probably possible to press your lips to your car's exhaust pipe and breathe deeply once a week for 20 years without ever feeling the effects . . . does that mean you'd do it?

The "Scandinavia excuse" is worthless. Yes, false morels are picked, eaten, even sold commercially in Scandinavia. I lived in Finland for a year, and found plenty of false morels--"ear mushrooms" (korvasieni), as they call them. But I didn't eat one bite. It may be that, for some reason, the far northern latitude is related to reduced levels of poison. But even in Finland, reports of poisonings exist; the year I was there newspapers were beginning to warn their readers about possible dangers.

Even when it's not fatal, MMH is not a pleasant poison. You could be hospitalized, sick for days, or just throw up all night, depending on many factors. Mushroom author David Arora writes that false morels "have puzzled scientists for years because of the very narrow threshold between complete absence of discomfort and severe poisoning or even death" (893). Do you want to approach that threshold? The only intelligent decision to make about false morels is to admire their beauty and move on; no person in his or her right mind should knowingly eat a false morel.

Kuo, M. (2001). False morel toxicity. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.bluewillowpages.com/mushroomexpert/false_morel_toxicity.html

Date: Mon, 07 Apr 2003 18:45:17 -0500. Last Saturday (April 6), I searched my favorite morel site in Sebastian County Arkansas. I go when the redbud trees are in bloom. That has always been the best indicator for me. So the time being right, I set out for the "ash grove" and found morels but not in number or size as last year-I suspect that perhaps it has been drier this year. Ron

Date: Tue, 08 Apr 2003. Subject: Arkansas. Found a few in southern Arkansas County a week ago and had a report of a finding along the lower White River last Sat. This last weekend I (April 5-6) found about 30 in Stone, Baxter and VanBuren counties in north central Arkansas. Most were small, gray and just starting to poke up through the leaves. I looked around a lot of ash trees to find them. Until last Sunday most of this area has had very little rainfall. Hopefully the freeze in northern Arkansas tonite won't scare them away. Jerry L

From: Char. Date: Wed, 09 Apr 2003 21:08:04 -0700. Subject: morels. I live in Batesville,Ark. It is in the north central part of the state.Last week I found a few blacks and this week I found all three kinds. I've been hunting morels for about 20 years.I mostly find them around Elm trees and Ash trees.They usually come up when the red buds bloom around here.

Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2003 10:29:18 -0500. Subject: Arkansas morels. Temperatures reached unusually high levels (80's) this weekend which was a surprise after having snow flurries last Wed. With low humidity the woods were very dry. However, morel hunting was pretty good. I found 105 morels with most being yellow and some blacks. They were at the base of ash trees near the tops of ridges of the Ozark Mts in north central Arkansas (Polk and VanBuran counties). There should be a week or two left for finding them. Jerry L.

Date: Sat, 19 Apr 2003. Subject: Morels in AR. Found our first morel April 4th, in Carroll Co. Arkansas. Have found a few hunred between 3 people. We hunt all colors, the grey and yellow under sycamore and black under ash trees. Went today 4-19-03, after the rain and filled 3 mesh orange bag half way full. Please. if you hunt use mesh bags, NOT plastic. Sending this cute picture of a large one i found today. Thanks for the site, Mary W.

Date: Sun, 20 Apr 2003. Subject: 2003 Arkansas Sightings. The wife and I went out 04/18/03 and found enough for a small meal. We were hunting only around our house near Siloam Springs, AR. This year has been a bit dry and had some wild variances in temperature. We finally got a good rain yesterday and today is overcast a cool, so hopefully we can knock one out of the park today. The best finds so far were in shaded areas 2-3" tall yellow morels!! It's like Easter for grownups!! :) Best of luck to everyone and have a fantastic day. ~Scott