Just got off the phone with our local conservation officer Jeff Clauson based out of Waterloo, NE who tells me that he is receiving a lot of trespassing complaints from landowners regarding morel mushroom hunters. Jeff says these illegal morel pickers are risking a citation that runs $248 ( fines and court costs) and you’re not gonna get to keep your mushrooms!
Whether the land is posted or not, Jeff says to remind everybody going morelling to get permission from the landowner! He says that the beds, banks and bars of our Nebraska rivers are owned by private landowners, normally the adjacent landowner. Most landowners don’t mind morel mushroom hunters as long as they ask permission in advance and know property boundaries.
As an alternative to harvesting morels on private land, we need to point out that ‘hobby picking’ for mushrooms is allowed on Game and Parks Commission owned and controlled properties such as state park lands and wildlife management areas.
Don’t forget that a current state park permit is required on all motor vehicles entering those state park lands. You can buy a park permit here: https://ngpc-permits.ne.gov/NGPC-PS/faces/public/welcome
Morel mushroom hunting is a fantastic way to enjoy nature in the springtime here in Nebraska, especially with friends or family members, provided that it is done right!