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Fishing waders: felt soled boot ban?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by sernv99, Feb 20, 2011.

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  1. sernv99

    sernv99 Active Member

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    Since I'm gearing up for fishing season soon, I saw this article today, about some states banning or proposing a band on felt soled boots. Yikes! I can't imagine wading in a river without felt soled boots....link to story is on yahoo.com (URL is too long to directly link it above)

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110220/ap_on_re_us/us_rock_snot_felt_soles;_ylt=
    AlcQUgdLfJXmOESLpG8VW5NH2ocA;_ylu=X3oDMTNib2pqcDA5BGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTEwMjIwL3VzX3
    JvY2tfc25vdF9mZWx0X3NvbGVzBGNjb2RlA21wX2VjXzhfMTAEY3BvcwM3BHBvcwM3BHNlYwN5bl90b3
    Bfc3RvcmllcwRzbGsDaW5tZGZlbHRib290










    By DAVID DISHNEAU, Associated Press David Dishneau, Associated Press – Sun Feb 20, 12:58 pm ET

    MONKTON, Md. – As an algae with a gross nickname invades pristine trout streams across the U.S., Maryland is about to become the first state to enforce a ban on a type of footgear the organism uses to hitchhike from stream to stream: felt-soled fishing boots.

    The state Department of Natural Resources plans to prohibit wading with felt soles starting March 21 to curb the spread of invasive organisms that can get trapped in the damp fibers and carried from one body of water to another.

    Similar bans will take effect April 1 in Vermont and next year in Alaska, aimed especially at didymo, a type of algae that coats riverbeds with thick mats of yellow-brown vegetation commonly called "rock snot."

    Maryland fishery regulators say didymo, short for Didymosphenia geminata, can smother aquatic insect larvae such as mayflies, stoneflies and caddis flies that are favored food for trout.

    "We've got to keep it from spreading," said Jonathan McKnight, associate director of the state Wildlife and Heritage Service in Maryland, where didymo was found in 2008 in the Gunpowder Falls north of Baltimore. A western Maryland stream, the Savage River, also has tested positive for the organism but hasn't had a rock snot bloom.

    Didymo, pronounced DID-ee-moh, isn't a stream-killer like acid mine drainage. Fish have adapted in the northern rivers where it first appeared, but biologists can't say for sure how it will affect the ecology of Maryland waterways.

    "I think the cautionary approach to that would be to assume it's going to have some adverse impacts and respond accordingly," said Ron Klauda, a Maryland freshwater fisheries biologist.

    Maryland officials are taking public comments through Feb. 28 on their proposed ban. They say 2011 will be an "education year," with violators getting warnings and information cards instead of tickets. Fines and penalties haven't yet been determined and won't be effective until 2012.

    A U.S. Agriculture Department map shows didymo in at least 18 states as of 2008. New Zealand has banned felt soles to protect its trout fishery.

    Some anglers and policymakers, however, aren't sold on the felt-sole ban. Many anglers prefer felt to rubber — even newer, supposedly stickier rubber compounds — because they believe felt gives better traction on slippery, rock-strewn riverbeds where losing one's footing can be disastrous.

    "We're going to have injuries. We're going to have people messing up their knees," said Mark Mayer, who traveled from Chattanooga, Tenn., to fly-fish the Gunpowder Falls in June.

    A proposed felt ban introduced this year in the Oregon legislature is almost certainly doomed after a state Department of Fish and Wildlife official testified that the agency's own employees prefer felt soles.

    "Certainly, going to no (felt) soles would reduce one vector of the spread of invasive species, but only one vector," said Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Rick Hargrave. Didymo and other organisms also cling to waders, shoelaces and boat hulls, experts say.

    Hargrave said what's needed is "a very holistic, rigorous program" to address the bigger issue of invasive aquatic species.

    Oregon state Rep. Brian Clem, Democratic co-chairman of a committee that held a hearing on felt soles in early February, said the cost of replacement gear is another problem. Simms Fishing Products, which voluntarily discontinued felt-soled wading boots last year, offers rubber-soled boots priced from about $100 to $220.

    "We don't want to price out and potentially take safety risks on a huge number of people who love this sport, many of whom come to this state to enjoy it," Clem said.

    The conservation group Trout Unlimited asked manufacturers in 2008 to stop producing felt-soled footwear by 2011 to curb the spread of didymo and other aquatic nuisances. Not all have complied, but most are working on alternate materials and designing boots that clean up easier and dry faster, making them less hospitable to microbes, said David Kumlien, who heads Trout Unlimited's Aquatic Invasive Species Program.

    Kumlien testified in support of the Vermont felt ban but he said Trout Unlimited isn't lobbying for prohibition, partly because felt soles aren't the only culprits. Instead of seeking felt bans, Trout Unlimited is encouraging everyone who works or plays on the water to "inspect, clean and dry" their gear after use. Montana is promoting that approach with public service ads urging people to "Stop aquatic hitchhikers!"

    Still, the felt-ban debate has been helpful, Kumlien said.

    "While a ban on felt soles doesn't solve the invasive species problems, it's something that will reduce the risk of anglers moving invasive species," Kumlien said. "And quite clearly, it's gotten people's attention."
     
  2. ou.3200

    ou.3200 Well-Known Member

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    Oh great, just as I am gearing up for the trout fishing season in Maryland. I guess I will just have to be "educated" this year!
     
  3. sernv99

    sernv99 Active Member

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    there is trout fishing in MD?? LOL is it any good? Been looking for a decent trout stream in northern VA....I may try shad fishing this year....
     
  4. neofight

    neofight TS Member

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    That is so lame. Before you know it, we'll be stopped at the border between states and forced to exhale into a tube that scrutinizes our breath to insure that we are not harboring some sort of bacterium that will cause Amargosa Pupfish to have seizures.
     
  5. ou.3200

    ou.3200 Well-Known Member

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    Maryland stocks lakes and streams in the eastern part of the state and there are native trout in western Maryland.
     
  6. Barrelbulge(Fl)

    Barrelbulge(Fl) TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    I have a pair of hip boots size 8 never worn felt lined $25 + shipping. Bulge.
     
  7. rw993

    rw993 Active Member

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    I guess if you want to fish bad enough you will learn to use the new boots!!!! Alaska has a ban in place that is effective Jan 2012. The new boots work ok. You have to learn to step on rocks a little different. The Cleats work great, but guides don't want them in their boats or airplanes for obvious reasons. Mini PITA.... Hooked into a nice big Steely still offsets the perceived issues.

    RW
     
  8. Barrelbulge(Fl)

    Barrelbulge(Fl) TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Eddie, carp is all my wife and I fish for. I use an ultralte setup with 4 or 6 lb. test. Just as sporty as any type of fishing. On the other hand the wife doesn't have the patience to play them so she uses 12 or 14 lb. test. When she hooks one she reels it in so fast they almost bounce of the top of the water. Bulge.
     
  9. ivanhoe

    ivanhoe Well-Known Member

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    Try this for a direct link to the story.

    Bob Lawless
     
  10. grnberetcj

    grnberetcj Active Member

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    Fishing for carp is more fun with M-80's and Qtr. sticks.....

    Curt
     
  11. comp 1

    comp 1 Well-Known Member

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    I got a pair of Simms G4 guide boots FREE from Simms after my felt soled G3 boots failed after 3 years of use. The soles separated from the boot and Simms would not fix but sent me the G4's as a replacement. The NEW G 4's did NOT have felt soles or cleats like my G3's and I was really worried about how well they would perform. To my utter and almost unbelievable surprise the G4's without cleats were every bit as stable as any felt soled boot I have ever worn. I bought a set of cleats for them and installed them myself just because I like every bit or traction I can get but I really don't need the cleats. I have a new pair of G3 guide boots with just the felt sole I bought for a spare pair,but I always reach for the non-felt G4's. I don't know about other boot manufacturer's non felt boots but I can attest to how good if not better the Simms non felt boots are. I would NEVER have bought non felt boots if this hadn't happened to me the way it did but I 'm telling you not to worry about non felt in the Simms line--They are absolutely outstanding and no I'm not getting any money from Simms.
     
  12. comp 1

    comp 1 Well-Known Member

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    By the way, I fish some of the slickest stuff on earth and the tailrace I fish is eaten up with didymo. Personally, I don't think felt soles are all that much a threat to streams from didymo as has been made out. Just think about it;birds ,bear, deer and other critters routinely wade didymo infected waters and can transfer it as easy as felt soles. I fish one water that has didymo and other streams really close by that aren't infected with it--it must not be that easy to transfer--at any rate don't worry too much about non felt soled boots if you buy the Simms line. Wow Simms should hire me but really I think this non felt soled crap is more of a marketing ploy than any thing else.
     
  13. recurvyarcher

    recurvyarcher Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for letting us know. I love fly fishing for trout. I would do whatever is needed to protect the trout streams. I'm not complaining. I will, however, have to buy a new pair of waders, since mine are felt-soled.
     
  14. recurvyarcher

    recurvyarcher Well-Known Member

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    comp 1 makes sense. Animals walking through the water would transfer it, unless they completely dried off before wading in the next stream.
     
  15. quartering

    quartering Active Member

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    so, there's an emerging market for felt footed wader condoms? ribbed for extra grip on the rocks. one size fits all. just kidding! good luck with it
     
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