Here is an Email I received today from the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Agency:
"I am not aware of any requirements that have been put in place for decontamination of felt soled waders and boots and other equipment used by State and Federal water based workers in Vermont.
As you noted, the Vermont law banning felt soled boots includes the provision: “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.”
Our Department, on its own initiative, has established spread prevention and decontamination protocols for our own staff when they are engaged in different water-based activities; an example is attached which pre-dates the felt legislation. In the past year we have also bought non-felt waders for almost all water-based fieldwork except use inside our fish hatcheries."
Here is Vermont's recommendation for decontamination of equipment used for water-based recreation in Vermont:
Do I Still Need to Clean Rubber-Soled Boots and Waders?
Although the risk of transferring unwanted organisms is reduced when using non-felt alternatives, precautions should still be taken after fishing and especially when moving between waters. If you’re done fishing, hunting, or trapping for the day, you can let your boots and other equipment dry at home before your next trip. Drying in the sun is the best option, and the longer the better.
If the time between trips isn’t sufficient to ensure your gear is completely dried, some simple cleaning and disinfection steps can be taken:
Check your boots and remove all mud and vegetation, as these could carry aquatic invasive species.
Add a cup of dishwashing detergent or several capfuls of household bleach to a gallon of water and soak and scrub your boots with a stiff bristled brush for about a minute.
Please do you part to help stop the spread of didymo and other aquatic invasive species by properly disinfecting your boots and other fishing equipment before moving to another waterbody, watershed or upstream site.
If VT or any other state is banning (superior traction) felt soles, I hope they are also banning the other mud and ick encrusted spreaders of invasives like float tubes, pontoon craft, canoes and kyakes, neoprene gravel cuffs and waders and drift boat trailers.
Here is an Email giving the decon procedures used by Vermont. Very thorough! I just wonder how much of an 8 hour day is consumed by decon, I certainly hope all of us fly fishermen will be this thorough in our personal Decon!
I will paste the disinfection example below – hopefully the formatting will not get too garbled.
This is just one example; we have separate protocols for disinfecting our electrofishing boats, and for sampling fish in rivers. Some of these are “best practices” instead of disinfection techniques – for example, when sampling multiple locations along a river, work from upstream to downstream (disinfecting gear between each location) as there is less likelihood of moving aquatic nuisance species into new areas that way.
One word of caution, the quaternary ammonia solution we use for disinfection is quite strong, and not something I would recommend for the general public unless they were very careful to contain the used solution so it didn’t run onto the ground or into the water.
Aquatic Nuisance Species Spread Prevention Plan
For Sea Lamprey Control Activities 2010 - 2015
Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife
September 16, 2010
The follow document details equipment disinfection procedures designed to minimize the spread of Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS), including pathogens, while performing sea lamprey control activities on Lake Champlain and its tributaries.
Full disinfection of equipment such as nets, waders, canoes, boats, trailers and motors will occur before moving between waterbodies. At the completion of all sea lamprey control activities equipment will be disinfected according to the techniques described below before it is moved to other bodies of water.
Upon leaving any waterbody:
· All Vehicles, boats, trailers, equipment, and all personal gear and clothing
- Visual inspection immediately after removing equipment from a waterbody.
- On-site removal of all plants, plant fragments, organisms, organic material, mud or other foreign materials.
- Remove all drain plugs and drain the bilge and well water.
Disinfection Techniques: The following techniques will be used on all equipment that will be moved between waterbodies.
1) Non-absorbent items (boats, canoes, water sampling equipment and other “hard” objects)
· Bleach Solution: soak or spray all surfaces for at least one minute in a 2% bleach solution (13oz or 1.5 cups of bleach added 5 gallons of water).
• Quaternary ammonia: soak or spray all surfaces for at least one minute. When using SANICARE Quat-128™ manufactured by Buckeye International use 2.5 oz of Quat-128 for each gallon of water; or 250ml of Quat-128 with water added to make 10 liters.
· Drying: All equipment will be dried for a minimum of 5 days before use on another waterbody.
Pressurized Hot water: All equipment with be pressure washed for a minimum of one minute with water at a temperature at or above 140°F.
Note: small items like sampling vials may be washed in hot water and dish soap.
2) Absorbent items: (i.e. Life jackets, boots, waders)
· Bleach solutions are not recommended for absorbent materials due to ineffective penetration compared to quaternary ammonia solutions (surfactants).
· Quaternary ammonia: Equipment will be soaked for a minimum of 30 minutes to ensure disinfectant penetration. When using SANICARE Quat-128™ manufactured by Buckeye International use 2.5 oz of Quat-128 for each gallon of water; or 250ml of Quat-128 with water added to make 10 liters.
· Drying: All equipment will be dried for a minimum of 5 days before use on another waterbody.
Note: Any boots with felt soles will be disinfected with quaternary ammonia.
Specific Boat Disinfection Procedures:
· Boat surfaces will be disinfected with a 2% bleach solution (1.5 cups of bleach per 5 gallons of water).
· If equipped with a livewell, insert standpipe and pour 5-gallons of 2% bleach solution in.
· Pour another 5-gallons of 2% bleach solution over the entire surface of the boat deck.
· Run any bilge or recirculating pumps for at least 10 seconds to pump bleach solution through pumps and hoses.
· Attach garden hose to motor muff and place muff over the water intake ports on the outboard’s lower unit. Turn on hose. Start outboard and run for at least 10 seconds to flush the motor coolant system with clean water.
· Remove any grates or screens covering water intakes for onboard tanks and remove visible debris/plant fragments. Clean grates or screens with garden hose.
· Insert garden hose nozzle into intake and flush with clean water. Run tank pump for at least 10 seconds to flush clean water through the tank pump hose.
· Remove stand-pipe from livewell and the bilge drain plug.
· Use garden hose to rinse the deck, bilge and any wells with freshwater. Flush for 10 minutes.
· Run any pumps with fresh water for at least 30 seconds to flush bleach solution.
· Rinse boat deck, bilge, live well, boat hull and boat trailer with steam/hot water pressure washer with temperature set to a minimum of 140° Fahrenheit.
· Attach garden hose to motor muff and place muff over the water intake ports on the outboard’s lower unit. Turn on hose. Start outboard motor and run for at least 10 seconds to flush the motor coolant system with clean water.
I sent requests for decon procedures for State Personnel in Vermont, Maryland and Alaska. I received a nice reply from the Vermont Fish and Game (cited above), but all I ever got from Maryland was an Email advertising the Governors reelection campaign. All I received from Alaska was some literature on tourism in the mail.
If one reads the decon procedures required for Fishery workers in Vermont, one has to wonder how much of each workday is left to actually do any survey work, let alone research on the impacts of the "invasive" species.
Better late than never, The Missouri CC approved a reg. change in Aug, 2011 that bans the use of porous soled waders or footwear incorporating or having attached a porous sole of felted, matted, or woven fibrous material when fishing in trout parks and other specific trout waters. The new reg will go into effect March 1 2012. The stuff is called Didymo or Rock Snot
1) Check all gear and equip. and remove any visable algae. Dispose of algae by placing in the trash, not by putting it down a drain or into bodies of water.
2) Then clean all gear and equip. with a solution of 2% bleach, 5% salt water, or dishwashing detergent. Allow all equip. to stay in contact with solution for at least 3 min. Soak all soft items, such as felt soled waders and wader boot cuffs, neoprene waders and life jackets, in the solution for at least 20 min.
3) Or then dry all gear and equip. for at least 48 hrs by exposing to sunlite.
That's the way the bullitin reads. Hope that helps ya guys.
Just a couple of thoughts. First they haven't proven that felt soles are the big culprit and a clue in the first part of the paper linked above gives a clue that might lead elsewhere. It went something like this: " The outbreaks here in North America and elsewhere are often found below the bigger impoundments." (paraphrased) Couple that with the known phenomenea that impoundments trap a lot of sediment, fertilizer, etc and you may have your basic cause. During the time that Didymo was increasing so was impoundments and fertilizers and intensive agriculture methods from chemical fertilizers to rotational grazing. Far too often the wildfire that spreds a quick cure such as this has is in part to a lot of Federal Grants, etc for researchers to _________fill in the blanks. All too often the researchers, desperately need the funding, but do not have the research capability or acumen to do the job. I know those folks at the TU/FFF/EPA mean well but I didn't see a lot of credentials and accredited peer review for the results given.
I do agree that the felt soles would be likely the hardest part of the exterior of a boot/laces/velcro to clean so some small gains may be made with that but how many folks will following anything close to that cleaning regimine above?
States with big budgets and money to burn will hire a few more people, bloating their bureauacracy a bit more (empire building) and the tax payers, anglers and boaters will be the primary scapegoats. In case you do not know fishing and the outdoor sports have been in severe decline for serveral years now and cost is always given as a biggie when asked why. With the Federal Fish and Wildlife Service coupled with the state Fish and Game departments, plus the EPA and state sister services, the sportsman is rapidly becoming an endangered species.