What Is Dry Land Fish(morels)

Dry land fish is an edible mushroom that grows from April to mid May (may differ depending on where you live). They're found just about all over the world. they can grow about up to over 12 inches and look like a sponge.

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Step 1: Materials

netted bag(like the bags oranges come in)the NETTED BAG is important you'll see why coming up

walking stick

that's all you need if you're not going to hunt for to long, if so have a bottled water it's a lot of walking.

Step 2: Tips on Where to Look

in my 3 years of hunting for dry land fish i've learned some things form experience. dry land fish don't like poor, dry, or rocky soil(they like moist good soil). they also like to grow close to rotting wood or decaying wood (like dead tree stumps, decaying branches, etc).

Step 3: When to Start Looking for Morels and When to Pick Them

The best time to start looking for morels depends on where you live. where i live in virginia the best times is from April 15th to may 15th. so do some research and find out when the best time for your area is.

Step 4: Ensuring Another Good Year of Morel Hunting

remember that netted bag well here's what it's for. when you pick a morel and put it in a closed bag, you are keeping the spores in that morel from falling out so there for there will not be any there next year. also it helps keep them aired out. When you put it in a netted bag the spores will fall out as you are walking.

Remeber to use the netted bag. so that we can perserve these delicacies for years to come.

Step 5: How to Identify a Real Morel From a False Morel

When hunting for morels watch out for false morels. false morels are morels that can be mistakend for true morels and are responsible for about 20 percent of mushroom related deaths.

there are three distinct features of a real morel:

1st:Cut lengthwise it will be hollow from bottom of stem to top of cap. It'll look like a rubber mold.

2nd:Bottom of the cap is attached to the stem
Cap and stalk all one piece

3rd:Cap is full of Ridges and Pits

notice in picture 1 the Bottom of the cap is not attached to the stem

in picture 2 and 3 it doesn't even look like a morel

in picture 4 the morel on the left is a real morel and notice how the morel on the right isn't hollow it's a false morel

in picture 5 the cap looks more like a brain it has wavy lines. a real morel has ridges and pits like in picture 7.

Step 6: Recipe

morels taste great, there are all kinds of recipes for tasty morels
i prefer having them covered in cornmeal and frying them but you may like them some other way so here are a couple recipes:


4 c. morels, fresh
1 med. onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 c. asparagus, cooked
4 c. milk
4 tbsp. whole wheat flour
Salt & pepper to taste

Saute morels, onion and celery in a small amount of oil until barely tender. Stir in flour gradually, add milk, salt and pepper. Add cooked asparagus. Simmer until slightly thickened

Wood Family Favorite in a butter entrée

1 big haul of fresh morel mushrooms
2 lbs real butter (or margrine)
1 doz eggs
1 box saltine crackers

Mushroom Preparation - Wash and cut fresh mushrooms into quarters, slicing long way. Soak in large bowl of salt water to remove and kill all those little pesty critters. Leave soak in refrigerator for a couple hours.

Preparing the Feast - Pre-heat skillet (cast iron preferred) and about 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium low heat. Crack eggs into large bowl and beat till blended well. Place a large amount of crackers into a ziplock bag and roll with a roller to finely crushed crumbs and place in large mixing bowl.

Place a hand full of cut and cleaned mushrooms into egg batter and coat real good. Individually cover mushrooms in cracker crumbs. Place in pre-heated skillet (cast iron preferred) and butter. Saute in butter for approx 5 minutes over medium heat turning as needed

Note: add more butter as needed and be carefull not to over heat the butter.

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    16 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Large Morels do not get tough, no matter how big. I have found them over 12" tall and delicious.
    Morels do not grow next to May Apples, May Apple grow everywhere which means you will find them around Morels.
    The mesh bag is always a good idea. Plus thorns and briars do not rip them open.
    And remember that the dates to look depend entirely on your location (nationally) and weather.

    Happy hunting everyone!

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    hello and thanks for commenting. i made this post back when i was around 15 and still new to hunting for morels so i was still fairly inexperienced. i made this post because i wanted other people to know about these wonderful things. but i didn't bother to do proper research about them and instead opted to use personal experience as reference. it has been a long time since i have looked back at this post and i now know some of the things i said were wrong. so i have gone back through and corrected the mistakes i made.


    doubtful as morels require moist soil and lots of water also they don't do well with direct sunlight and hot weather. u could possibly try to grow ur own morels in a pot but u would have to find some morel spores. if u do decide to try and grow some do some research on how to grow them.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    According to the "Food for Free" minibook i have by Richard Mabey:

    Mushrooms are unable to create Chlorophyl and thus cannot create its own carbohydrates. This is why they have to leech them from dead or live plants. this is why you're finding many around Mayapples, rotting logs and in rich moist soil.

    "The deep pitting of the Club-shaped heads is the feature that differentiates true morel species from the false morels".

    However your explanation is much more in depth.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I have always wanted to try these.  They aren't poisonous but if you are going to go hunting for them, it is best to take someone who has been doing this for a while so they can verify that you are getting the real thing.  Also, I like the idea about the netted bag, everyone I have seen who hunts for these use old plastic bags. 

    I know that most people who know where these grow keep the locations a secret due to their rareness. 

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Mushrooms put in plastic bags tend to get slimy. Also, if you use a net bag, the spores can fall out on the way back to the car to ensure that there is another crop the following year.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Are any of these of a poisonous variety?  Wild mushroom picking scares me a bit if you are not 100% sure in identifying what it is.

    3 replies

    The nice thing about morels is that they are very distinctive, there are a couple of poisonous (false morels) but they barely resemble a morel and even you could easily learn to differentiate them ;-).  I'd pick these when I'd find them spring bird hunting up north.

    WAIT! There are false morels that are ALMOST IDENTICAL until one cuts them open to look for a single continuous hollow chamber vs a hollow stem with a long and overhanging cap which is not hollow. The whorls and "brain" patterns look the same on the outside. Very dangerous to not distinguish.

    Legal Disclaimer: For your own safety I will not give specific advice. But for your own safety you must do your own thoughrough research. Try googling for a site that compares the real morels with the toxic false ones.

    BTW- in some countries they claim that cooking or boiling a toxic variety will remove the toxins but it's not true! (Google that one too if you feel the need to try "cooking out the poison." It just won't work.)


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    The only rule of thumb when hunting wild mushrooms is that there is NO rule of thumb. You have to learn how to recognize each edible species one at a time, because there are a number of different toxins in the poisonous varieties that react to things like silver objects in a different way. As I said before in another comment, go out at least once with an expert before dashing out into the forest alone.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    The best way I know, and how I learned to discern the edible morels from the gyromitras was to go out with someone who knew what they both looked like, and follow their lead. Morchellas have distinct pits in the outer skin, and are hollow like a light bulb. Gyromitras are more convoluted than pitted, with flesh all through the center. In Colorado, Morchella grow on north facing slopes, in mixed pine and aspen, in the spring, and are often accompanied by the calypso slipper orchid.


    9 years ago on Step 5

    could you provide some pictures of false morels compared to true morels? A picture is worth a thousand words.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    This would be much improved if you included pictures of you actually hunting and finding morel (instead of googled images), and including at least one recipe.

    Plus, as Caitlinsdad says, you should refer to any possible mix-ups with toxic varieties, and how to avoid them.

    2 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    You can tell the difference due to true morel's being hollow. Split it down the middle length-ways and it should be hollow the whole mushroom through. If not, it's a false morel. But, the wild mushroom rule still applies: when in doubt, don't eat it! Don't come to me when you have been poisoned because it's your own fault for eating something you weren't sure of.

    Morels and false morels grow in groups. It's not a good determiner of if it is poisonous or not. Stick with the above and once again, do not eat it if you are even 1% unsure.

    Harvey, here in the Pacific Northwest, morels are rare. Check a forest the year after a wild fire for morels. It seems to trigger them to sprout here. Also check old apple orchards with land owner permission. The above instructable seems to be geared for mid-west USA forests. My grandparents' forest looks just like that.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I grew up in Oregon, on the side of Mt. Hood, and can tell you these are very rare.  You are lucky if you find any at all.  Fortunately, we knew several other varieties of mushrooms to look for as well.  Some years, you find a dozen or so, but most of the time you come up empty.  If you have ever had them, you would keep your best places a secret as well (possibly why no personal photos).  They have a good flavor all their own, usually in a frying pan, with butter or bacon grease, is all that's needed.  Kind of a wasted, to do much else.

    When considering hunting, you should consult more than one source, before consuming anything wild, cook thoroughly to avoid potential parasites (worms, in this case).

    Could be wrong, so many mushrooms, and so long ago (mostly cow-pasture mushrooms in Florida), but the Morels are only found singularly, and not close to others.  The false ones are in groups or clumps.