Wild rice conditions are looking good this year in many areas of Minnesota and the Department of Natural Resources is offering tips and a reminder of important regulations restricting harvest to rice stands that are ripe.
Peak harvesting dates are estimated to be in late August to mid-September as long as weather remains mild and dry. The official season starts Aug. 15 and ends Sept. 30.
Like other forms of gathering, learning from someone who is willing to share skills and knowledge can improve success.
All non-tribal members wishing to harvest or buy wild rice within the boundaries of the Leech Lake Reservation must have Leech Lake Reservation permits.
Minnesota’s green rice law makes it illegal to harvest unripe or “green” rice, even within the dates of the harvest season. So although rice beds may look like they are ready, ricers must make sure the grain is ripe and falling easily from the stalk before attempting to harvest it.
More information on Minnesota’s rice regulations can be found on the DNR”s wild rice regulations webpage.