Most of you are unaware that in the passed Vermont legislation, there is an exemption for state and federal employees. Why is this fact not mentioned? I had to dig it out of the legislative files.
This allows Vermont fisheries as well as other personnel to use felt soled waders and boots. It seems to me that if banning felt is important, Vermont fisheries workers, 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 Vermont exempts their own employees while mandating a change for the fishermen.
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.
From Vermont's own legislative site:
"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."
lol....I'm not going to engage with you ff...you're correct, fairness is not the issue. Glad you cleared that up. THAT was my point. Of course their boots carrying nasties is only bad if they move to other waters without treating them.
I am preparing an article right now supporting the continued use of felt. There is actually a lot of information out there but no one has yet had the courage to come out and draw a line in the sand.
The first paper on your list, which I have previously carefully read, a white paper from the EPA and Federation of FlyFishers published in 2007, "Increase in nuisance blooms and geographic expansion of the freshwater diatom Didymosphenia geminata: Recommendations for response" has the following statement under Recommendations:
"An aggressive education and outreach program is required to change water resource user behavior in order to MINIMIZE SPREAD of D. geminata on a global scale."
The words MINIMIZE SPREAD were carefully chosen. The authors cautiously avoided saying PREVENT SPREAD because these words would have been incorrect. By choosing the words MINIMIZE SPREAD they are admitting that there is no politically acceptable way to PREVENT the spread of Didymo.
When I worked for a resource agency I was careful to choose my words also because if I didn't, my supervisor would edit them out!
Sometimes it is not what IS said, it is what is NOT said that is important.
Too bad we cannot ask the authors, "Will your recommendations prevent the spread of Didymo, yes or no?" There were times in my job when, if asked such a question, I would have come face to face with choosing complete honesty or losing my job!
---------- Post added at 12:25 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:11 PM ----------
The rest of us know how to clean our boots too, Mikel! Satisfactory cleaning using accepted methods is difficult or even impossible in a motel room and complete drying is impossible when you work in those boots every day, so I cannot believe fishery workers would not spread Didymo.
In Montana, the ban was voted down based on State Fishery workers indicating that they would not abandon felt for safety (and perhaps liability?) reasons.
You are absolutely correct Silver, but that is a political issue, while the issue that Mikel needs to keep in mind is the value of banning felt soled boots for use by fishermen while allowing state fishery workers to continue to use them.
As usual, he chooses to disengage when he can't come up with logical arguments to support his side of an issue. Disengaging is at least better than resorting to slander and namecalling.
It is not only dydimo and felt soled boots that is an example of how experts that should know better say one thing but do another on the issue invasive species.
Another example is Whirling Disease (WD) and the Colorado Division of Wildlife's (CDW) trout hatcheries. At on time WH was found in 12 of 15 CDW hatcheries. Instead of shutting the fish hatcheries down and cleaning them, the CDW continued to stock infected fish into its public waters, some of which were previously uninfected! They spread WD into their own uninfected waters.
They have since changed that policy. However they still have a policy of stocking infected fish "only" into waters that already have WD. They had research which showed that parasite dose exposure in the environment increases infection rates and decreases survival. The CDW stocking increased the infection rate. And yet, they continue to do so, in spite of the science that says they should not.
"Parasite dose strongly determines the severity of whirling disease which generally increases with the number of triactinomyxons the fish encounters (Hoffman 1974; O’Grodnick 1979; Markiw 1991, 1992a, 1992b; Hedrick et al. 1999a; Thompson et al. 1999; Densmore et al. 2001; Ryce et al. 2001; Ryce et al. 2004; Ryce et al. 2005)."
The current policy of CDW is to continue to stock infected fish.
"A policy implemented in spring 1995 prevents the stocking of trout from hatcheries testing positive into waters where whirling disease has not been found. This includes wilderness areas and streams where native trout may be restored. Trout from positive hatcheries will be stocked into waters where the parasite has been found to minimize the risk of contaminating other watersheds. Only trout from negative testing hatcheries can be stocked into waters where the parasite has not been found.
Last fall, the Division of Wildlife released new research suggesting that the stocking of infected fish in WD+ reservoirs was increasing the level of infection in brown trout populations downstream (for highlights from the research, see the whirling disease page). CTU believes this research offers further evidence that the stocking of infected fish (even in habitats that already have the WD parasite present) can harm the resource. There have been many questions about how the DOW will – or will not – respond to these important new findings in their management programs, where "lightly" infected trout continue to be stocked in numerous waters around the state (the so-called "B waters")."
I understand that few fisheries departments act with such disregard. Maryland, for example, has an aggressive testing policy and they did the right thing and closed the Bear Creek hatchery when WD was found.
"The discovery of whirling disease (Myxobolus cerebralis) at Bear Creek Hatchery in late 2006 led to the eventual closing of that facility. It has remained closed since early 2007."
Nevertheless, when a state such as Colorado with its many miles of trout habitat acts in such a way, is there any wonder that I dig into the the actual bills that are passed to see if the rules apply equally to the state employees and the fishing public?
Can we not agree that the fishing public and the state employees should be treated equally under the law? How can anyone, in this time in our history, say that a public employee carving out a privilege for himself over the public is acceptable?
I was wondering if anyone would open that can of worms. You have done your homework Silver.
I have not done my homework on WD, but from what I know, Colorado spent $11 million dollars (?) disinfecting their hatcheries but it didn't work! I think they just gave up so the high country lakes with no spawning streams are now devoid of fish I believe. I have not heard a word lately about WD and it seems to have been quietly swept under the rug. On to chronic wasting disease in elk and deer which they actually brought into Colorado by doing research on infected animals brought in from elsewhere!
Obviously, the CDOW does not believe in wasting their resources on containment of invasives! LOL! In fact they spend their resources and our money spreading invasives! From a practical viewpoint (i.e.feasibility and income) it is probably the most logical answer. Money talks.
I don't look for Colorado to ban felt anytime soon as I have been told by one of their employees that there is no discussion of a ban as of yet. No doubt they have been made aware of the hypocrisy in that.
No one has mentioned the role of fish farms and private stocking on the spread of disease either which I find strange. How many states allow landowners to stock streams running through their property? Colorado does.
Hey Silver! Care to start a thread on WD? Let them pick your carcass for a change! LOL! The kids are back in high school looking at half naked women again I see.
---------- Post added at 02:54 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:24 PM ----------
Okay, I checked on some things. Six of Colorado's 16 hatcheries are still whirling disease positive even after decontamination efforts.
Silver, you may have seen this link about Colorado's high country cutthroats and WD but if not, here it is: Whirling Disease in Cutthroat waters*
Doesn't appear that the spread of WD is being prevented in CO. In fact, it appears to be too late!
So, all you out-of-staters stay home. The trout in Colorado are all dead! LOL!