Morel Harvesting

Morel mushrooms are choice edible mushrooms, a prized delicacy and a valuable commodity in high demand on world markets. Morels can be harvested in large numbers in burned areas mostly during the first year after a forest fire.

Mushroom pickers need permission from landowners if they want to harvest on private property. Harvesters should be aware that some public lands have traditional or historic values or may be actively used by residents for specific purposes.

Where harvesting sites exist on Indigenous private lands, pickers are advised to contact that Indigenous Government’s office prior to any harvesting activities.

Read our guide:

Personal use:

In the NWT, you can pick morel mushrooms for personal use without a permit on territorial or Commissioners Lands where public access is allowed, including in Territorial Parks.

Commercial use:

Fresh morels may be sold in the field if mushroom buyers are present or they can be dried and sold for higher prices to wholesalers, specialty food stores and restaurants.

You are required to obtain a Business Licence for any commercial morel harvesting in the NWT: https://www.maca.gov.nt.ca/en/services/business-licensing.

Harvesting is currently not allowed in National Parks located in the NWT.

You may pick mushrooms for commercial purposes in Territorial Parks if you obtain a Commercial Use Permit from the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI), Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT). For more information on commercial use permits, visit https://www.nwtparks.ca/commercialuse

 

Safety Information and Resources:

Morel harvesting activities often take place in wilderness areas away from immediate care and service centers. Harvesters are advised to take safety considerations into account and prepare an emergency response plan before beginning harvesting activities.

Printable Burn Area Maps by Region (letter size):