The 2018 Morel Mushroom Season Summary
The season started off well in the southern region and the southeast region. Weather cooperated rather well for this region which reported early in April. Although while it was kind to the shroomers to the south, the weather took a really odd turn for a week or two in early April for those in the Midwest region (we’ll get to that in a bit). The reports from Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi seemed to report well. Temperatures and timely rain made for a pretty good year based on reports coming in. A lot of shroomers were saying they were finding them much earlier than usual which seemed to be the thoughts in other regions.
As the morels made their migration a bit further north into the states of Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and Arkansas the season was hit with fairly good weather too, and the morels we digging it. Folks in North Carolina and Virginia were hitting them hard and having good success. Yet Oklahoma reports were down this season. Maybe they just were too busy to report but it seemed a bit quite from the state that usually reports well in the early part of the season. The jury may still be out on that region. A side note to this region – Tennessee seemed to have a really good year as the reports were over-the-top.
The early part of April the weather took a really bad swing as colder than normal temperatures hit the regions where the morel was about to make its early arrival. The National Weather Service said the first two weeks in April may have been some of the coldest weather on record, and many feared it would mess with their season.
Well…it did! Many would say it wrecked havoc on the season.
The southern parts of the states in the Midwest such as (Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri. PA and Kansas were beginning to freak out and wondering if the season was going to be a wash. Thankfully, it was more of a delay. For many in those areas of the US region, it was the start of what many would refer to as “an odd season”. Countless reports of a “later than usual” season the usual and for the most part a good season too!
As those regions started to report success, those in the Upper Midwest were freaking out themselves as a late spring snow blanketed much of the Midwest. The timing couldn’t have been worse and the morels were put on hold.
States like OH, IN, IL, PA, WV, MD, IA, and MO were in the midst of this odd season and yet Mother Nature started to cooperate a bit more. Thus, these shroomers were blessed with what many referred to as an “extended season”. Reports from these states were all-in-all pretty darn good given the fact of a shaky start.
The cold spring weather left just in time for the morels and they climbed their way into the morel heartland – the Upper Midwest. About this same time the Northeastern states of NY, CT, MA and other norther states were left puzzled wondering “where did all the morels go?” Here again comes the “odd” term but while some were reporting earlier than usual success others were in a sit and wait mode. Eventually, the season balanced out and reports of findings seemed to be in better time.
The upper Midwest states of Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Dakotas all seem to report a decent season and few comments coming in are saying they need a little more rain. Many parts of this region got that much needed rain and yet above normal temps were not helping – although they didn’t really put the hurt on the morel. That said, most were not complaining too loudly, and were pretty happy with their efforts. Once again some of these folks were blessed with an extended season and some fortunate cooperation from Mother Nature.
The Northeast states reported healthy looking shrooms for most of their season too. Some places in New York, New Hampshire and Vermont sent in some nice healthy morel pictures to the sightings map. Throw in the Canadian provinces which report morels – and everyone for the most part seemed to me happy shroomers.
The burn sites in the PNW were once again proving to keep those in their neck of the woods pretty happy too! The coastal region of Washington and Oregon sent in some nice looking photos and they were pleased. The West Central Coast is not a huge hot bed for morels but the folks in California had good success too!
All in all, as crazy and “odd” as the season was for all the regions in the US, most would say it was a good year.