Can I harvest wild rice (Zizania palustris) in Idaho?

Question:

I am from Washington State and I recently learned that there is a lot of wild rice growing in Lake Coeur D'Alene and the St. Joe River. The only literature that I can find about Wild Rice on Idaho government websites talk about how it is an invasive species. I want to collect the grain for food. Is this legal to do?

Answer:

 

IDFG is not aware of a general law regarding the collection of wild rice in Idaho. So the landowner or land manager (whether private or a government agency) would control the collection of wild rice.  You will need to figure out who the landowner or manager is for the area in which you want to collect.  IDFG would only regulate the collection of wild rice that occurred on Department-managed lands, such as the Coeur d’Alene Wildlife Management Area.  You may contact the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation regarding the collection of wild rice within Heyburn State Park, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe for collection within the Reservation (including the southern portion of Lake Coeur d’Alene) and the Idaho Department of Lands regarding any state owned navigable waterways, including the portions of Lake Coeur d’Alene and the St. Joe River.

 

You may also want to look for health advisories or consumption recommendations related to heavy metals.