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Seventh US State Bans Felt-Soled Footwear

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South Dakota has become the latest US state to ban felt-soled waders and wading boots South Dakota has become the latest US state to ban felt-soled waders and wading boots

South Dakota has become the seventh US state to ban felt-soled boots and waders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Angling International


South Dakota has become the latest US state to ban felt-soled waders and wading boots, bringing the number of states currently enforcing the ban to seven and with a further six states considering a ban, the situation is becoming increasingly serious for manufacturers making revenue from felt-soled footwear.


While felt is widely regarded as providing the best grip, its use has come under criticism for its propensity to transfer disease from one water to another. The debate has rumbled on in the media, on fishing blogs and online networks since the move to outlaw felt began in 2009.


The anti-felt movement appeared to have gained considerable traction in 2011 when leading manufacturer, Simms Fishing Products, announced that it would cease to use felt soles in its products, only to reverse that decision after feedback from consumers who were reluctant to stop using felt soles.


When adopting the ban in Idaho in 2011, authorities issued a statement congratulating those manufacturers offering alternatives to felt soles, applauding their foresight for ‘offering products that reduce the threat and potential transfer of aquatic nuisance species (ANS)’.


The campaign to outlaw felt is championed by the Centre for Aquatic Nuisance Species (CANS) and is part of its larger goal to reduce the ecological and economic impact of invasive species by humans.


Those states with a ban already in place are: Alaska, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Vermont, with restrictions being imposed either by the state legislature or by the Fish and Game Commission.


Other states considering a ban include Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Mexico, New York City and Oregon.

 







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Comments (47 posted):

gretch6364 on 23/01/2014 16:02:04
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I would like to see Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado all join forces and ban them as well. I know felt bottom's are not the only carrier and maybe not even the biggest culprit, but banning them gets people talking and thinking about it.
fredaevans on 23/01/2014 16:22:20
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I would like to see Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado all join forces and ban them as well. I know felt bottom's are not the only carrier and maybe not even the biggest culprit, but banning them gets people talking and thinking about it. "Other states considering a ban include Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Mexico, New York City and Oregon." Not sure I'd call New York City a State so that may be a typo. That aside, several of the above States have very strict requirements with boats/trailers as they can be major bad news in transferring 'invasive species.' A few years back (Oregon had just put into play their boat check requirement) got to spend a weekend as a Vollie on I-5 just into Oregon. Anyone with a boat trailer was required to pull over and have the thing inspected. If you didn't pull over (missed the signs, etc.,) an Officer went after you and you got pulled over. In that short period we found three north bound California trailers with the damned things attached to the trailers! (Boats were all clean.) The one that got every one's attention was the driver said the boat/trailer hadn't seen water in close to two weeks and (out of Reddington, CA) the day temps had been in the 105 to 110 degree range. Those 'suckers,' some the size of a fifty cent coin were all 'alive and doing well.':eek: Two permanent inspection places here in Southern Oregon (that I know of) and they're OSP truck inspection sites. One's on I-5 (Ashland, Or) the others on 101 on the coast. Apparently there's a small fee charged. But back to the OSP and their inspections. I've seen two instances where an Officer pulled into a major Rogue River boat ramp and did a walk around and checked out all the drift boat trailers. I can make a reasonable guess that an 'out of state' license plate really got a through look-see.
dean_mt on 23/01/2014 16:27:38
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I just bought my first pair of Vibram sole boots and ditched the felts (they wore out). I was skeptical but was assured they are good. And they are! I do believe that a lot of the resistance is simply based on the old notion that felt is the only way to go. The new materials are better and better. Add studs and I don't think felt is any better at all. And I'm glad to see that NYC has banned felt! What the...?
on 23/01/2014 16:37:01
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And I'm glad to see that NYC has banned felt! What the...? It has been proven that felt soaks up puke from the floors of subway cars and spreads the germs all over the city.:confused:
gretch6364 on 23/01/2014 16:52:02
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I just bought my first pair of Vibram sole boots and ditched the felts (they wore out). I was skeptical but was assured they are good. And they are! I do believe that a lot of the resistance is simply based on the old notion that felt is the only way to go. The new materials are better and better. Add studs and I don't think felt is any better at all. And I'm glad to see that NYC has banned felt! What the...? I have been using the Vibram Simms for several years, and they are good until the edges of the little treads start to wear down. I am anxious to try the new Orvis rubber when they come out late spring/early summer. I just got a raft, so no more studs for me..at least on my raft boots. Speaking of which, my trailer won't ever be backed into the water, but what is the best way to clean a raft? It has a lace in floor, so that is going to be the toughest part I would think.
dhayden on 23/01/2014 17:02:53
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I just bought my first pair of Vibram sole boots and ditched the felts (they wore out). I was skeptical but was assured they are good. And they are! I do believe that a lot of the resistance is simply based on the old notion that felt is the only way to go. The new materials are better and better. Add studs and I don't think felt is any better at all. And I'm glad to see that NYC has banned felt! What the...? I have both felt and rubber.. and rubber types from Simms and Korkers.. in summer, when the moss builds up, rubber isn't even close for me.. unless you add some studs I should add.. I think it really depends on the river and the bottom type... there are just some rivers out there that get extermely slippery
Bigfly on 23/01/2014 17:30:28
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Those that fish winter out here are very pleased with rubber/studs. I hate the "glam rocker" snow build-up on felt. In summer, if it's a didymo spreader, I'll play along. If you have ever seen a fishery overrun(ruined) with the stuff, you probably would too. Without studs, I'm like a pig on ice.......I add extras..... Won't be surprised when all the states outlaw felt. Jim
waterfordcreek on 23/01/2014 23:56:43
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Really??? Ok remove felt. What about the laces, other material in making the boots, stitching, fly line, Flies, nets??? Manufactures are retailers are loving this. Banning felt MIGHT help a LITTLE, if at all. Some of the areas I fish are downright dangerous without felt. Do we ban ducks, geese and other migrating fowl?? Nahh....no money in it...:D Think about it.....what about those flies you just tied? Are the materials contaminated?? What about that drift boat being trailered from another state or area? Even though i might only have an Economics degree, isnt rubber porous?? Nice, politics have even found a way into my wading boots! OR...Im just overreacting......:D
littledavid123 on 24/01/2014 01:20:33
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I don't support the ban because as South Dakota just ruled, state and federal employees are exempt from the law when perfroming official business. Which means they can tramp up and down the streams all day performing surveys while wearing felt, but we have to risk our necks going without. This tells me it is only a feel good decision and they don't really care. Dave
dean_mt on 24/01/2014 02:15:50
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You are over reacting...in a reactionary fashion! Ducks and geese? Sorry man but the spread of invasive, noxious weeds, plants, organisms, and animals is a function of human (mis)behavior. Songbirds, raptors, snowbirds, butterflies, salmon, steelhead, i.e. migratory animals have been moving across very different ecosystems forever. And they are not responsible for the spread of knapweed, toadflax, leafy spurge...zebra mussels, watermilfoil, whirling disease or NZ mud snails. Boats and trailers transfer these plants and mollusks and state agencies have begun mandatory check station inspection stops. I don't think any sensible, responsible outdoors person would object to this minor inconvenience. Felt soles press into the mud and river bottom and are know to readily absorb, house, and easily transfer spores to wherever they go next. If there is an alternative why would you not use it? We have to begin somewhere and the shoe lace argument is avoidance argument. We don't use lead based paint anymore or mercury thermometers because we learned that there were alternatives. When an easy step toward a solution is possible, why not take it? ... ---------- Post added at 07:15 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:57 PM ---------- I don't support the ban because as South Dakota just ruled, state and federal employees are exempt from the law when perfroming official business. Which means they can tramp up and down the streams all day performing surveys while wearing felt, but we have to risk our necks going without. This tells me it is only a feel good decision and they don't really care. Dave It not about "tramping up and down the streams" (tramping is bad no matter whats on your feet!😜) but transferring spores and micro organisms between bodies of water. The state fish and game agency that allows felt soles for work can also (and I assume does) require that the gear is properly cleaned. This is the crux of the issue Dave and why boats have to be stopped and checked. Too many lazy people that so not take the threats seriously so they don't take the time to clean their boat, or trailer, or boots. ...
siege on 24/01/2014 02:25:09
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I started out with rubber soled muck boots, then graduated to rubber soled hip boots. My first waders 40 years ago had felts, and I have never gone back to anything else. I believe as the ban becomes more widespread, technology will provide the answer. Money will drive research, and both sides of this discussion will be accommodated.
littledavid123 on 24/01/2014 02:39:29
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They are just as human as we are, meaning just because they are told to do something won't guarantee it will get done. Ban felt for everyone and then we are all on equal footing. :) I agree with Siege, technology will provide a solution. Dave
billyspey on 24/01/2014 03:08:08
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Rubber is not the answer. Tried those by Simms with or without cleats they will get you killed in the rivers I fish .the states that ban felt will they have felt police on the river given out tickets .
waterfordcreek on 24/01/2014 03:46:46
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Ha, Yes i was overreacting. I am with Billyspey...i think we fish some of the same area's. Guides in the GSMNP will all have to think twice about putting clients in rubber soles in the Smokies. Then again, thats not what this is about. I have tried non felt in the Smokies and TN tailwaters. Thats NOT going to happen again. My new home waters of Colorado may be a different story. Again....isnt rubber porous??? Either way.....You should be doing the right thing when fishing various watersheds. I have a boots and waders specifically for the park waters and another for tailwaters. Either way I still sterilize my set I use for tailwaters. I do remember seeing an article...I think it was posted here somewhere, that this whole ban is hogwash!!!
mudbug on 24/01/2014 04:04:37
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If there is an alternative why would you not use it? Because in some cases it's not a safe alternative.
dean_mt on 24/01/2014 04:13:25
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Rubber is not the answer. Tried those by Simms with or without cleats they will get you killed in the rivers I fish .the states that ban felt will they have felt police on the river given out tickets . Yeah, they are the police that write tickets for annoying and arbitrary laws like fly only regulations, creel limits, etc. ...
fredaevans on 24/01/2014 14:44:13
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Because in some cases it's not a safe alternative. Some truth to the above and you really see it as you get 'older.' Not a case of being 'feeble' but just not as steady 'on your sticks' as you were 10 or more years before. fae
Bigfly on 24/01/2014 16:44:18
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Fred, I feel you..... Fell down three times in a week or so. Cratered so hard one time I broke a stretch of 4" shore ice.....luckily. The impact would have been worse, had it not broken. My strategy is to perfect my falls...... Go with it...... I think maybe a few of you fishers out there might want to try the Patagonia river cleats...... Jim
silver creek on 24/01/2014 17:12:13
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I don't support the ban because as South Dakota just ruled, state and federal employees are exempt from the law when perfroming official business. Which means they can tramp up and down the streams all day performing surveys while wearing felt, but we have to risk our necks going without. This tells me it is only a feel good decision and they don't really care. Dave I agree. My belief is that this is a fairness issue. Most of you are unaware that in the proposed and passed legislation that I have been able to find, there is an exemption for state and federal employees. This allows fisheries as well as other personnel to use felt soled waders and boots. It seems to me that if this is important, those who are routinely in the waters and are more likely to be in different watersheds routinely, should be the first to transition to rubber soles. Instead the state exempts their own people while mandating a change for their population. Notice the nearly identical language in legislation in Montana and Vermont. Montana's is stalled in committee and Vermont's has passed. If the ban is based on science, should it not apply to everyone? This is the kind of legislation that burdens the public, but exempts government which drives me nuts. In Montana: "NEW SECTION.**Section 2.**Use of felt-soled boots and waders prohibited. (1) A person may not use external felt-soled boots or external felt-soled waders in the waters of the state. (2) The possession of external felt-soled boots or external felt-soled waders on the banks or shores of a stream or lake or in a boat, raft, canoe, or other water vessel is prima facie evidence that the person or persons in whose possession the boots or waders are found were using the boots or waders in the waters of the state. (3) The provisions of this section do not apply to a state or federal employee or emergency personnel, including fire, law enforcement, and emergency medical technicians, using external felt-soled boots or external felt-soled waders when acting within the scope of duty." Montana Fly Fishing Report Felt Ban in Montana, Blog, and Fishing Report - Madison & Missouri Rivers In Vermont: "Sec. 1. 10 V.S.A. 4616 is added to read: 4616. FELT-SOLED BOOTS AND WADERS; USE PROHIBITED It is unlawful to use external felt-soled boots or external felt-soled waders in the waters of Vermont, except that a state or federal employee or emergency personnel, including fire, law enforcement, and EMT personnel, may use external felt-soled boots or external felt-soled waders in the discharge of official duties." http://www.leg.state.vt.us/docs/2010/bills/Passed/H-488.pdf So the ultimate irony is that a warden can give you a citation for wearing felt boots while wearing felt boots himself. How crazy is that? My second reason is that Dydimo is the main reason for the felt sole ban. See the article below on by the Center for Aquatic Nuisance Species. http://stopans.org/Science_of_felt.php However, it has now been shown that felt boots are NOT causing dydimo blooms. Max Bothwell, a research scientist for Environment Canada, who wrote an influential article that linked angler's felt soled boots to dydimo spread has now reversed himself and said that anglers are not responsible. Here is his original article, On the Boots of Fishermen: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wat/wq/studies/didymo-blooms.pdf He now believes that dydimo has been in North American waters and that it is a change in water chemistry, specifically lower phosphorus levels that has caused dydimo blooms. Read the article in the current issue of American Angler, July-August, 2013, pp 8-9. "'I no longer believe the problem is North American streams is the result of it (dydimo) being moved around.' …. Scientists are now convinced that dydimo lives in many streams, but blooms only when the water has far less than the normal amount of phosphorus…… The most damaging dydimo episode in the US seems to have been on Rapid Creek in South Dakota, where a six-mile bloom dramatically impacted a blue ribbon brown trout fishery. In 2007 and 2008, Bothwell and other scientists added phosphorus to sections of Rapid Creek. Sure enough, the dydimo mats shrank" He published his findings in Freshwater Biology (2012) 57, 641–653 in an article titled: Didymosphenia geminata growth rates and bloom formation in relation to ambient dissolved phosphorus concentration "The blooms were present only in rivers where average dissolved P was very low. Didymo in higher nutrient waters had higher cell division rates, shorter stalks, and did not form blooms. …. the blooms are caused by low nutrients in the overlying water, which promotes excessive stalk production. Subsequent surveys, experiments and observations in New Zealand have all been consistent with low nutrients (specifically low P) driving the blooms." What causes didymo blooms I think this recent discovery makes more sense than the old theory that all of a sudden dydimo sprang due to anglers boots when anglers have been using these same rivers for over a century with no dydimo blooms. What is causing the dydimo blooms, I surmise, is the current trend of reducing phosphorus in detergents and lawn fertilizer. So as we get rid of phosphorus to prevent algae blooms we get dydimo blooms. Ever wonder why NZ has such a problem with dydimo? They have lots of crystal clear streams and rivers with low phosphorus because there is little run off from agriculture and lawns. Basic epidemiology 101 states that we cannot stop the spread of what has already spread. How we then prevent disease is to make the target population less receptive to the disease. We allow the addition of some phosphorus into fertilizers in the river drainage of these dydimo affected rivers. Thirdly, there is no single chemical decontamination method that will kill all invasives WITHOUT damaging the waders and boots. Now that it has been established that felt soles are not responsible for dydimo blooms, the worst invasive is the New Zealand Mud Snails. They are resistant to chemicals and felt is NOT where they hide. They hide IN the boot, under the footbed and any crevice. A study by the California Department of Fish and Game found hundreds of NZ Mud snails lodged inside the crevices of individual test boots. Over 50% of them were less than 1 mm in diameter. Replacing felt with rubber is not going to stop them. "The majority of NZMS recovered were associated with wading boots. NZMS were observed on the tongue area of wading boots, associated with the laces or the area of the tongue that was tucked beneath the lacing eyelets. Large numbers of small NZMS were present inside of the boots, having worked down between the boot and the neoprene bootie of the wader. If the boots contained padded insole inserts, NZMS were also found underneath the inserts, associated with sand grains. NZMS were recovered from every treated set of wading gear. Numbers of NZMS per sample ranged from 1 to 227 with a mean of 33 (Appendix 2). Over 50% of NZMS recovered were < 1 mm in size (Table 4)." http://www.scwa2.com/documents/NZMS/NZMS%20Final%20Report%2003.pdf Finally, New Zealand has the most rigid laws (The fine for spreading invasives is 5 years in Prison and/or a $100,000.00 fine). Yet this has not stopped the spread of invasives. We have 300 times the population of New Zealand, small fines and no jail time; and yet there are those that believe that rubber soles will stop the spread of invasives. Clearly that ignores the evidence.
gretch6364 on 24/01/2014 17:21:46
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Yeah, they are the police that write tickets for annoying and arbitrary laws like fly only regulations, creel limits, etc. ... I sure wish we had bigger fines and more enforcement of creel limits and fly only regulations. Trout poaching is a big issue here in CO. I vote, if you get caught using scented flies or bait or take too many fish of the wrong size, you get 40 hours of community service, cleaning the river banks.:p
littledavid123 on 24/01/2014 17:41:05
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I sure wish we had bigger fines and more enforcement of creel limits and fly only regulations. Trout poaching is a big issue here in CO. I vote, if you get caught using scented flies or bait or take too many fish of the wrong size, you get 40 hours of community service, cleaning the river banks.:p I agree, see way too many bait fisherman in fly only waters carrying their infamous 5 gallon buckets. Dave
dean_mt on 24/01/2014 17:51:37
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I'm going to play devil's advocate now: There are a whole lot of fisherman that look at a regulation like "flies only" on a stretch of river and will turn their nose up and say "FU, I've lived here my whole life...'they' can't tell me how I can fish...elitist blah blah blah..." So how is a regulation that directly benefits that long term health of a river shed like not transferring invasive aquatic organisms by banning a kind of sole on your friggin boot out of line but telling people they can only fish with a hook that has feathers tied on it all that different? One takes away your "freedom" because you don't like it while the other takes away someone else's freedom because you do like it.
ts47 on 24/01/2014 18:04:43
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I support the ban. I live in MD. Both MD & WVA have banned felt. I and the 5 other guys I fish with on a regular basis all went out and bought boot with rubber soles and metal studs. While they are not quite as good as felt, adding an extra stud or two in each boot really did the trick! A little more info... We do a 4 day fishing trip twice a year where we fish 4 separate bodies of water. We often fish two different rivers each day. I would really hate to see didymo (sp) in any or all of those waters much less know that I may have been one of the guys responsible for it!! Todd
littledavid123 on 24/01/2014 18:24:40
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Fact: Give me a bucket of worms, grasshoppers or crickets and I will suck every fish out of a hole in no time. Fact: There isn't solid proof that dydimo spread is caused by felt boots Fact: The government is exempting themselves from the law NOTE: Not meant to be taken as angrily written :) only discussing. ;) Dave
silver creek on 24/01/2014 20:08:05
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I support the ban. I live in MD. Both MD & WVA have banned felt. I and the 5 other guys I fish with on a regular basis all went out and bought boot with rubber soles and metal studs. While they are not quite as good as felt, adding an extra stud or two in each boot really did the trick! A little more info... We do a 4 day fishing trip twice a year where we fish 4 separate bodies of water. We often fish two different rivers each day. I would really hate to see didymo (sp) in any or all of those waters much less know that I may have been one of the guys responsible for it!! Todd How do you decontaminate between the different watersheds on the same day? Do you take harsh chemicals and washtubs to clean your gear? Unless you do, you are risking being the Typhoid Mary of invasives. Going from one watershed to another on the same day is absolutely the best way to spread invasives. When I go to Montana, I use a totally different FELT boot that I only use for the Madison River and leave to dry off during the other 11 months in a Montana garage. Read the most recent science on dydimo. Fishermen are NOT responsible for the dydimo blooms and dydimo is NATIVE to North America. Dydimo has been in Western and Eastern rivers for over 100 years,
dean_mt on 24/01/2014 20:16:38
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I think it is a good discussion to have. 1. Not to doubt your bait fishing prowess Dave, but I highly doubt a river would be fished barren were bait allowed to be used. But for a different example: catch and release, fly only water regulations - to many these is an arbitrary, elitist law. And the state, i.e. government would still be allowed to electro-fish for counting purposes. Who is "right?" 2. If by solid proof you mean 100% certainty, then nothing will ever be changed. Don't forget, gravity is a theory. 3. I just do not see the relevance here.
mudbug on 24/01/2014 20:44:55
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I agree. My belief is that this is a fairness issue. Kind of. Why would they exempt their people if the other options are just as effective? Easy... because their testing has shown that they aren't. What happens if one of their people is hurt or killed while will doing their job? A huge mess and $$$$$ On the other hand if they make the avg sportsman give up felt what happens? The Earth Firsters throw a party and if we get hurt or die it comes out of our own pockets and it's the cost of playing the game. It doesn't effect the Gov at all.
dean_mt on 24/01/2014 22:03:12
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The Earth Firsters throw a party and if we get hurt or die it comes out of our own pockets and it's the cost of playing the game. It doesn't effect the Gov at all. Come on Bug, is that necessary? Earth Firsters? I am not such a person, and doubt if the others here that have come out in support of the idea. And to go so far as to say a group of people "throw a party" because a fisherman dies? This is why civil debates here go down the tubes. No one is trying to enact laws so that a group of people gets hurt and dies. Also, plenty of fisherman manage to slip and fall, get hurt, and unfortunately die every year due to all kinds of forces.
mudbug on 25/01/2014 00:13:43
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Come on Bug, is that necessary? Earth Firsters? I am not such a person, and doubt if the others here that have come out in support of the idea. And to go so far as to say a group of people "throw a party" because a fisherman dies? I didn't say anything like that. Read the sentence again. I said that they throw a party because Felt got banned, AND if we get hurt or die it comes out of our own pockets (contrasting with what happens if a gov employee get's hurts or dies)
silver creek on 25/01/2014 00:14:14
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I found a scientific study that proved dydimo was present in North America in as early as 1218 AD, in the sediment at the bottom of Naknet Lake dated by a volcanic eruption. So who brought didymo to Alaska well before any Europeans even know it existed? 'We found no statistically significant change in the numerical presence of D. geminata or D. clavaherculis, as a group, in Naknek Lake between the years 1218 and 2003." Historical abundance and morphology of Didymosphenia species in Naknek Lake...: EBSCOhost
ts47 on 26/01/2014 02:55:09
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How do you decontaminate between the different watersheds on the same day? Do you take harsh chemicals and washtubs to clean your gear? Unless you do, you are risking being the Typhoid Mary of invasives. Going from one watershed to another on the same day is absolutely the best way to spread invasives. When I go to Montana, I use a totally different FELT boot that I only use for the Madison River and leave to dry off during the other 11 months in a Montana garage. Read the most recent science on dydimo. Fishermen are NOT responsible for the dydimo blooms and dydimo is NATIVE to North America. Dydimo has been in Western and Eastern rivers for over 100 years, Hi Silver, I just checked this thread and saw your post. We use a wader wash and a brush. We actually don't do it as often as I may have suggested, fish multiple waters in the same day. Many of the waters we fish flow into each other as well. It's interesting to see the comments about didymo existing, well, long before fly fishermen. In my area, they made felt sound like a horrible thing. I've never taken the time to study the topic. I have tried to follow the rules as I've understood them though. I guess my perhaps somewhat uneducated comment was meant to say if there is something like switching to a different boot that would help protect our watershed and the fish we all like to chase, I'm comfortable trying to find a way to make it work. Todd
silver creek on 26/01/2014 04:47:52
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Todd, I understand that you are doing what you have been told is the right thing to do. I commend you for that. I have been in science a long time and when I read something that just does not seem reasonable, I look for another explanation. I have been posting about dydimo for many years, and in all the posts, I have been the sceptic and on the side of those who did not believe that replacing felt soled boots would slow down dydimo or any other invasive. There are too many ways for invasives to be carried other than in felt and I am not referring to animal vectors of transfer. As I said before, there is no single chemical that is safe for use on waders and boots that will kill all invasives. That is a big problem and so the most common recommended method is to wash the wading equipment with fresh water. Washing decreases the amount of invasive transfer. But dydimo, new zealand mud snails, and whirling disease myxospores can multiply asexually. Only a single live organism is needed to infect a river system. Clearly, banning felt soled wading boots is a futile effort. Secondly, it just did not make any sense to me why all of a sudden, dydimo, an organism that had been in North America for centuries, should suddenly go wild. There are two main reasons for the explosion of a population. The first is a change in the organism, and the second is a change in the environment. Was there a change in the organism itself so that it changed genetically to a more virulent form? Close examination showed that dydimo was the same organism as it was hundreds of years ago. If it was not a change in the organism, then was there a change in the habitat? We know that dydimo lives in water. They tested the water where dydimo blooms occurred and found that a low concentration of phosphorus caused dydimo to grow filaments and create the mats of vegetation that is "rock snot". Add phosphorus and the blooms disappear. How about that? The blooms are not caused by evil fly fishers with felt soled boots spreading dydimo. The dydimo was already there waiting for low phosphorus to stimulate it. Why did the water chemistry change? It changed because phosphates in detergents and in lawn fertilizer began to cause algae blooms in lakes and rivers and so they were phased out. Now we have low phosphate rivers and dydimo blooms instead. Laws to reduce phosphorus | Washington Department of Ecology 16 states ban phosphate-laden dishwasher soap Phosphorous Lawn Fertilizer - Ban on Phosphorous Fertilizer in Maryland - The Daily Green
blackbugger on 26/01/2014 06:15:48
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This from Montana FWP does address animal vectors when it come to whirling disease: "Wildlife can also spread M. cerebralis. Piscivorous wildlife, including fish, birds and mammals, which ingest M. cerebralis-infected fish, can spread the parasite between drainages. Passage of viable myxospores through the digestive system of piscivorous birds has been demonstrated (Taylor and Lott 1978; El-Matbouli and Hoffmann 1991. Given the rate of passage through the birds digestive system (Brugger 1993; Barrows et al. 1999; Hilton et al. 2000), and wide ranges often overlapping incidences of M. cerebralis infection (e.g. American white pelicans: Koel et al. 2006a), it is possible that these animals can transport M. cerebralis (Taylor and Lott 1978; Kerans et al. 2007; Arsan and Bartholomew 2008). Piscivorous fish may also transport the parasite by traveling long distances and passing viable myxospores in their feces (El-Matbouli and Hoffmann 1991; Arsan and Bartholomew 2008)." There is no way I am allowing anyone to wear studs in my raft. It's a recipe for disaster. They also scratch up drift boats and will certainly grind casting stations that are fiberglass. I don't doubt for a second that of all the gear we wear and use on the rivers on a regular basis felt soles are the most effective vectors for transporting invasive species like whirling disease but there are host of other ways invasive species are transported, felt is most likely just a drop in the bucket. I don't see a nice tidy solution and I also think banning felt, at least in the west, is going to result in a whole lot more injuries and possibly even some drowning deaths. I can't even imagine trying to wade the Deschutes, the Ronde and all the other really difficult wading, FAST flowing bedrock rivers in the west with rubber soles. Even adding cleats isn't going to be as safe as felt and felt with cleats.
silver creek on 26/01/2014 21:33:02
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This from Montana FWP does address animal vectors when it come to whirling disease: The mxospores of WD are extremely resistant to freezing and drying. A study published by the American Fisheries Symposium has noted that "The (Whirling Disease) myxospores can tolerate freezing at -20 centigrade for at least 3 months and are still viable after the passage through the guts of predators.... There have been reports from Europe of myxospores remaining viable in dry pond beds for 12 years(Bauer 1962)." http://wildlife.utah.gov/fes/pdf_pubs/2002_06.pdf
theboz on 26/01/2014 23:43:22
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I just bought my first pair of Vibram sole boots and ditched the felts (they wore out). I was skeptical but was assured they are good. And they are! I do believe that a lot of the resistance is simply based on the old notion that felt is the only way to go. The new materials are better and better. Add studs and I don't think felt is any better at all. And I'm glad to see that NYC has banned felt! What the...? When did NYC become a state? Did it break away from the union ? What the....? I think they meant New York State! Haha! No felts for this guy on Madison Ave!
ts47 on 27/01/2014 01:56:57
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Interesting reading Silver! I didn't know science was your background. It doesn't surprise me though. Your level of knowledge and willingness to share it is appreciated. With my wading gear, what are your recommendations on what steps I/we should be taking and how frequently or are you simply saying the efforts we've been going to are not making enough of a difference (or not the cause)to make it worthwhile? Todd
smokey8595 on 30/01/2014 04:40:53
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Who ever doesn't support the felt ban needs to take a trip to the South Island, New Zealand, and see the didymo infestations in person. There are entire would-be gold medal fisheries absolutely ruined by the ****.
mrfzx on 30/01/2014 15:27:15
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I switched to rubber here before PA even considered a ban. I knew felt, and I can tell you, rubber is no felt! ;) I have used studs in various configurations and by several manufacturers. I have yet to find any rubber/felt combination that is anywhere nearly as good as felt soles. I won't switch back to felt, even though I really want to. We have the lovely "rock snot" in creeks here in south central PA where it never was a problem before. I tend to believe that the increase in the average annual water temperature is to blame (i.e. deforestation along the streams) not felt soles.
ts47 on 31/01/2014 00:21:40
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I switched to rubber here before PA even considered a ban. I knew felt, and I can tell you, rubber is no felt! ;) I have used studs in various configurations and by several manufacturers. I have yet to find any rubber/felt combination that is anywhere nearly as good as felt soles. I won't switch back to felt, even though I really want to. We have the lovely "rock snot" in creeks here in south central PA where it never was a problem before. I tend to believe that the increase in the average annual water temperature is to blame (i.e. deforestation along the streams) not felt soles. If you haven't already, you should read through some of Silver Creeks posts above. He had some interesting insight to a possible cause.
silver creek on 21/03/2015 03:21:17
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This is why dydimo blooms occur in low phosphorus water. Low phosphorus stimulates dydimo to grow a fibrous mats. These mats are then colonized by bacteria that concentrate the phosporus from the water. The bacterial phosporus is used by the the dydimo to grow more mats. When there is normal levels of phosporusm the dydimo diatom can live just as normal algae does as one celled organisms without the matty growth. So mats are an adaptation by dydimo that allows it to form a symbiotic relationship with bacteria. It is analogous to the symbiotic relationship between legumes and bacteria that fix atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia in the legume root nodules. As to whether there any way that anglers can clean their wading boots to prevent dydimo, the anwer is only with great difficulty. An infectious disease model can be used as a model for dydimo prevention. In infectious disease, the method of prevention is isolation. So the way to prevent fishermen from "spreading" dydimo is to prevent people from entering the water and then entering another body of water. Since dydimo is a one celled organism that spreads by asexual reproduction, one live diatom is all that is needed. No washing with fresh water can remove all the dydimo. Dydimo is destroyed by freezing or drying. So you must hard freeze or completely dry your waders, nets, boots, flies, fly lines and backing, and anything else that was used in one watershed before going to another. This also presumes that anglers and animals that went from one watershed to another in the last 700 years have not already brought dydimo from one watershed to the other. Dydimo has documented to have been in North America for over 700 years by core drilling in lake bottoms. They have been found under layers of ash deposited on the lake bottom by a volcano eruption and the year of the eruption is known. So ask yourself, if an organism has been in North America for over 700 years, what are the odds that it has not been spread almost everywhere by now and is present in the waters in which it can survive? If it is not detected in a watershed, is it more likely that it has not been spread there or more likely that it was spread there and the water chemisty is inhospitable to dydimo? Dydimo is likely in low concentration in many watersheds waiting to bloom. Let Occam's Razor lead you to the truth. The simplest explanation is most likely the true explanation.
wineshark on 21/03/2015 04:10:39
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If I understand correctly, the gist of some of the responses here is : "If there are also other means of spreading contamination, why should I/we give a rat's patootie about our own contribution to this mess" ? Maybe I misunderstood.
silver creek on 21/03/2015 21:26:20
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No, the gist is that: 1. Dydimo has been spreading for over 700 years and over 100 years of active fishing in North America. 2. There is no sinlge decontamination method that will destroy all invasives (Dydimo, NZ Mud Snails, Zebra Mussels, and Whirling disease) without also destroying boot and waders in the process. 3. Rubber boots are less safe than felt in most circumstances as noted by the state laws that exempt state and federal employees from not using felt soles. 4. New Zealand has the strictest laws against the spread of dydimo with 5 years of jail time plus a $100,000.00 fine. New Zealand has a smaller population to monitor and we have 10X more fisherpersons. Yet Dydimo continues to spread in New Zealand's South Island. Therefore, if spread cannot be contolled in an island nation with heavy fines and jail time; logically a less strict clean foorwear/wader laws will not work here. The North Island is uncontaminated because of strict quarantine and decontamination on arrival. http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/didymo Notice any green uncontaminated waterways on the South Island of New Zealand? 5. The best science has shown that Dydimo is not caused by spread on the boots of waders. Even if birds and animals were not spreading invasives in the wild, rubber boot soles would not prevent the spread. It has been tried in New Zealand and it has failed.
wineshark on 22/03/2015 02:41:16
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"The North Island is uncontaminated because of strict quarantine and decontamination on arrival." - previous post. I am quite curious about this statement. It makes it sound as though determined human effort CAN thwart the spread of this stuff. Is that the correct way to read this?
cmcdhuibh on 22/03/2015 03:41:35
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I've never seen a pig on ice I want pictures!!!
GrtLksMarlin on 22/03/2015 15:27:38
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Right of the bat I am NOT a biologist of any discipline nor am I educated to any degree as to this problem along with many other invasive or cross contamination problems....and finally, I am hesitant to quote one source or another in that much of what I have read is intentionally skewed to one side of the debate or the other. That said, a little bit of common sense goes a long way and mine is telling me that if felt soled boots can transmit this and other problems, yet rubber soled boots do not (though I believe the gist is reduce), then boots alone are not the problem. Lets think about it for a minute. These issues can be trapped in the felt so they're clearly rather miniscule. If I look at ANY pair of wading boots then both inside and out I can find numerous seams, exposed threads, layers of material that are not sealed, and a wading boot by its very nature is intended to let the water out, so also in. Waders offer the same issue with their seams by the sock/boot connection and in the case of fabric covered neoprene a rather loose weave comparatively. Consider gravel guards as well that stay moist. Wet wading would offer the greatest hazard unless barefoot. I myself use thick wool socks between my feet and the neoprene bootie, that alone would make felt seem inconsequential. In the end, unless a HazMat quality seamed boot foot wader was made and enforced as being the only allowable choice on streams, well then you might have something. The only other option being to fish nekkid, and then you'd have to shave your legs. Point being, if boot soles are really a problem then more than the boot needs to be addressed. To not do so states it is either not as much of one as proposed, or perhaps there was some other agenda involved. In any case I am at a loss as to how JUST the boot sole, is the sole issue. B.E.F.
wolfglen on 22/03/2015 17:15:29
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I might have missed it, but has anyone mentioned wading birds? Let's see, what's next? Are they going to decontaminate the feet of every egret, heron and all of those birds which jump from one stream to the next without even scraping their feet, much less drying and decontaminating them? I can just see it now as in Ct. when some idiot politician suggested exterminating all of the deer. I suppose that we'll have some nut call for the extermination of all wading birds next.
silver creek on 22/03/2015 19:11:39
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"The North Island is uncontaminated because of strict quarantine and decontamination on arrival." - previous post. I am quite curious about this statement. It makes it sound as though determined human effort CAN thwart the spread of this stuff. Is that the correct way to read this? Not when dydimo has already entered the country. A comparison can only be made between two equal situations. There is a major logical error. That error is equating the North Island of NZ where Dydimo is not present to the USA where Dydimo is endemic. The correct comparison would be the one I made, comparing the South Island that has dydimo with the USA that has dydimo. Here's the deal. We could theoretically stop the spread of dydimo only if we instituted what happens at the border of the North Island of NZ at every possible fishing location in the USA for 24 hours a day X 365 days a year X FOREVER. This is what we would have to do and we would have to do it perfectly No used equipment may enter NZ unless it has been inspected and shown to be safe or it is decontaminated. So we set up stations at every place a fly fisher could fish, examined all their equipment, inspect it and if it does not pass, we confiscate it and hold it in quarantine, then treat it, and release it several days later. If you go fishing and you want to move up stream or go to a new location, your gear must be re-cleaned INCLUDING FLY RODS and REELS. If you try to avoid the regulations and get caught, your equipment gets confiscated, and you get a possible fine of $100K and 5 years in jail. So do you think that is realistic in our country with all the fishing locations? The North Island is an ISLAND and it has a port of entry with customs and security. It is much different in the South Island where Didymo was discovered initially in ONE LOCATION and is now virtually everywhere that has been tested. Is the USA more like the North Island or the South Island? I submit that we are even worse than the South Island because we do not have a 5 year jail term or a $100,000.00 fine or an every present Biosecurity Governmental Department. Nor do we treat impermeable equipment like rods, reels, wading staffs, nets; or even permeable net bags, flies, wading pants, socks, etc. And what has happened in the South Island? Dydimo has spread despite the best efforts of NZ Biosecurity What To Bring - Fly Fishing with Chris Dore "Upon arrival you must declare all freshwater fishing equipment to the quarantine inspector. Customs will inspect your fishing equipment, and if not satisfied that your gear is clean and dry, they will arrange for the equipment to be treated prior to awarding biosecurity clearance. This takes time and may cause delays in your travel plans. Please dont try and hide your equipment, or intentionally fail to declare in order to save the hassle. If they find it, you may lose it, as we take the protection of our rivers against invasive species seriously. Please note, all non absorbant items such as rods should be soaked for at least 1 minute in said solution, whilst absorbant items such as boots, nets, flies, clothing etc should be soaked for at least 5 minutes or preferrably, as long as possible." FAQ's - Frequently Asked Questions on New Zealand Fly Fishing Bringing Equipment to NZ Q. Are there any Customs issues when bringing our own equipment? A. Yes - make sure you DECLARE waders, wading boots and other equipment. Customs officers will be quite happy with the equipment but may wish to clean, disinfect or fumigate it for you. However, if you fail to declare it, and they are discovered on inspection, you will be severely chastised.... Bringing Flies to NZ Q. Are there any Customs issues when bringing our own flies? A. Yes - make sure you DECLARE that you have flies, and especially any tying materials for those who like to tie on the spot. Customs officers are likely to be more concerned about capes than feathers. However, if you fail to declare these items, and they are discovered on inspection, you will be severely chastised.... Didymo in New Zealand "your guide will have all the gear needed and will no doubt clean your gear for you, however if you are planning to fish on your own make sure you get yourself set up to deal with it..... All gear that has been in contact with the water must be cleaned before entering a new waterway or indeed relocating upstream." Items to declare | MPI - Ministry for Primary Industries. A New Zealand Government Department. "New Zealand has very strict biosecurity procedures at airports and ports to prevent the introduction of pests and diseases. MPI's role is to help people arriving in New Zealand meet these requirements. Fishing and water activity equipment including but not limited to: waders, fishing rods, lines, hooks, flies. fishing flies are permitted entry but all non-artificial material for fly-tying must meet the conditions in the Import Health Standard for Fibres. felt-soled waders are not permitted for fresh water fishing in New Zealand Fines People failing to declare biosecurity risk goods can be fined $400 instantly. Anyone caught smuggling a prohibited or risk item could: be fined up to $100,000 face up to 5 years in prison be deported."
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