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The Pesuta Shipwreck Trail will lead you along East Beach to the remains of the Pesuta, a log barge that ran aground in 1928 - Photo: Owen Perry www.circa1983.ca

Roadside whale-watching in May is a popular activity in Skidegate - Photo: Owen Perry www.circa1983.ca

The Rennell Sound area offers exceptional wilderness camping and short trails for accessing remote west coast beaches - Photo: Owen Perry www.circa1983.ca

Rose Spit - where the Hecate Strait meets Dixon Entrance - Photo: Owen Perry www.circa1983.ca

The rainforest experience - moss carpeted paths, a lingering scent of fresh cedar and the sounds of silence - Photo: Owen Perry www.circa1983.ca

The Looking Around and Blinking House at Windy Bay was built to provide shelter for people during the 1985 blockade against logging on Lyell Island - Photo: Owen Perry www.circa1983.ca

Step into another world as you tour ancient Haida village sites in Gwaii Haanas - Photo: Owen Perry www.circa1983.ca

Visit the award-winning Haida Heritage Centre and Museum at Second Beach in Skidegate - Photo: Flavien Mabit

 

Mushroom Harvesting on Haida Gwaii

By Flavien Mabit

Collecting Chanterelles. Photo Credit: Flavien Mabit

Picking mushrooms is a seasonal industry on the islands providing work for local and visiting harvesters. It is also a popular pastime for locals who are interested in gathering their own food.

Coral fungi. Photo Credit: Flavien Mabit

Chicken of the woods. Photo Credit: Flavien Mabit

The primary species harvested commercially on Haida Gwaii is the Chanterelle, (Pacific Golden Chanterelle, Cantharellus formosus) which is found primarily in second growth Hemlock and Spruce forested areas.

 Meadow Mushrooms. Photo Credit: Flavien Mabit

Harvesting Chanterelles. Photo Credit: Flavien Mabit

There are several other common edible species such as Boletes, Oyster mushrooms, Shaggy Manes, Hedgehogs, Blue and Black Chanterelles and the occasional Pine mushroom. The harvesting season ranges from late August until late October.

 Puff Balls. Photo Credit: Flavien Mabit

 Mushroom buyer at Skidegate Lake. Photo Credit: Flavien Mabit

The best known area for harvesting is Skidegate Lake on Moresby Island (about 45 minutes by logging road from Sandspit). Harvesters from off-island frequently set up temporary camps along the shore of the lake.

Selling a harvest. Photo Credit: Flavien Mabit

The Chanterelles are bought by agents for off-island companies and shipped directly to Vancouver and then on to the European and Asian markets. There are local efforts made to purchase the Chanterelles for locally made products.

 Cauliflower Mushroom. Photo Credit: Flavien Mabit

In September and October, visit the mushroom camp at Skidegate Lake to meet pickers and buyers. The logging road from Sandspit to Skidegate Lake can be driven in a car, but some rental companies may not allow rental cars on the dirt roads.

Important note: Try picking mushrooms only with someone who is experienced at identified the species.

Further information:
You can find more on the biology of the chanterelle at http://www.mushroomexpert.com/cantharellus_formosus.html

 Boletus. Photo Credit: Flavien Mabit

Contact the Queen Charlotte Visitor Centre at (250) 559-8316 or the Sandspit Visitor Centre at 250 637 5362 to get current road information for the logging roads.

A good harvest. Photo Credit: Flavien Mabit

 

Contact Us

Queen Charlotte Visitor Centre

website: www.queencharlottevisitorcentre.com
email: info@qcinfo.ca | telephone: 250-559-8316

Sandspit Visitor Centre

website: www.lovehaidagwaii.com/businesses/the-sandspit-visitor-centre
email: visitsandspit@gmail.com | telephone: 250.637.5362

Port Clements Visitor Centre

website: www.portclements.ca
email: pcmuseum@qcislands.ca | telephone: 250-557-4576

Masset Visitor Centre

website: www.massetbc.com
email: info@massetbc.com | telephone: 250-626-3982

Haida Gwaii Tourism

Destination Marketing Organization
website: www.gohaidagwaii.ca
email: tourism@gohaidagwaii.ca

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