One can even say it has started as club member and early bird Ray Ryczek reported the first black Morel sighting for the season on the clubs Facebook page. There are other reports from Fayette County, on the PA-Morel Mushroom Hunting page. A lot of the Morel sighting map webpages come and go but this one at The Great Morel is still active. Fayette County seems to be the one of the first areas where morels are found in the season but it won’t be long before they start appearing in other southern areas of PA.
Need to know more about hunting Morels? Please see this presentation by past presidents Dick Dougall and Jim Wasik. We are also very sad to report that Dick Dougall passed away this week. His dedication to teaching beginners the basics of mushroom hunting will be sorely missed.
There are many natural signs that it is the right time for morels but one of the more scientific indicators is soil temperature. Morels need a consistent temperature of approximately 50-55℉ to fruit. According to this site Pittsburgh is about 50℉ a the moment so we probably need another week and a heavy spring rain storm and things should start getting exciting.
Safety note: I picked up a tick from the garden this week, it did not embed fortunately, so they have also become more active with the warm weather. Please take suitable precautions when you are out and about in the woods at your favorite morel spots.