KS Wild travels to rare underwater mushrooms in the Rogue River

ROGUE RIVER, Ore. – Most people don’t think of mushrooms growing underwater, but the Rogue River may be the only place in the world where you can see Aquatic Mushrooms.

Underwater mushrooms, also known as Psathyrella Aquatica, can be found here in the Rogue Valley.

But this isn’t a new discovery.

In 2005, Southern Oregon University professor Robert Coffan, with help from other colleagues, found the mushrooms in the upper Rogue River, between Prospect and Union Creek.

One of his colleagues, Darlene Southworth, who has studied these mushrooms for over a decade, said they typically grow from June to September every year.

According to Southworth, they are extremely small and most are not bigger than a dime.

She’s looked at many rivers in Oregon and other states for years, but there has yet to be another discovery of this fungus.

“It seems unlikely that this is the only place,” Southworth said. “But at this point, the roger river, this particular stretch of the rogue river, is the only in the known universe where these fungi occur.”

Southworth said there are currently around 24 mushrooms in the Rogue River this year.

This week, she took the team at the Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center down to see the mushrooms.

Southworth asks that if anyone sees these mushrooms in a new spot to not pick them and to contact KS wild.

As far as edibility goes, it’s unknown if the mushrooms are poisonous or not.

But either way, they’re so small, it would be difficult to cook or eat them.

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NBC5 News reporter Zachary Larsen grew up in Surprise, Arizona. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. At ASU, Zack interned at Arizona Sports 98.7FM and Softball America. During his Junior year, Zack joined the ASU Sports Bureau. He covered the Fiesta Bowl, the Phoenix Open and major basketball tournaments. Zack enjoys working out, creative writing, music, and rooting for his ASU Sun Devils.
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