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Thread: FELT OR NO FELT - Neil - January 24, 2011

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    Default FELT OR NO FELT - Neil - January 24, 2011

    FELT OR NO FELT

    If you currently use felt-soled waders or wading boots it?s likely that you will need to replace them sooner rather than later. Currently the State of Alaska has banned the use of felt-soled wading gear in all fresh water streams. Several other states currently are considering a similar ban. [My research indicates that, in addition to Alaska, Vermont and Maryland have banned felt-soled wading gear, and Oregon and Montana have similar proposals in the legislative hopper]

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    Default Didymo and Mud Snails......

    I do not use felt boots, even though I bought some for the 2003 Idaho Fish-In. Most of the time when I go fishing I do not tramp through the water. I either fish from shore, or I get into my WaterSkeeter Poontube and kick-paddle around with my fins fins. After fishing I hand my poontube outside to dry, as for my swimming fins. it is gotten to a point that I have separate fly boxes, one for each body of water that I fish. All my fly rod gear gets cleaned after each outing and air dried. Sometimes I will not use a fly rod or other gear of two separate water if the time span between when I fish the two separated water is under two week.

    I never heard about "didymo" (Didymosphenia geminata), until I read this weeks article. After reading your article I did a quick web search is found a listing of regions in North America that "didymo" has already been found. British Columbia, Alberta, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, and Maryland. Hot spots that have it, with out knowing how it got there, but rest assured that someone unaware of this problem, will be the carrier to transport it to a new region.....

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Didymos...a#Native_range

    As for the "New Zealand Mud Snails" (Potamopygus antipodarum), I asked that question to FAOL's "Stream Doctor" many years ago (for some reason I cannot find his articles at the moment). As the the Stream Doctor stated in his reply article to my question, that the New Zealand Mud Snails" came to either Washington or Oregon State Trout Hatcheries, from a shipment of trout from New Zealand. Not knowing that that these trout were carrying the Mud Snails in their intestines, the snails found a new home in Idaho, when some of these trout were some how released. The "Stream Doctor" explained, that the "New Zealand Mud Snail" has a natural predator in New Zealand to keep down their population. There is no such predator for the "New Zealand Mud Snail" in North America. Similar to the case with the Zebra Mussels. Anyway, the "New Zealand Mud Snail" is what in common terms is classified as a "Trapdoor Snail". Meaning that if consumed by a fish, the snail has trapdoors at both ends of the snail digestive track, which close so the fish's digestive track can gain any nourishment from the snail, and the snail can survive inside the fish for up to two weeks before it exits at the other end of the fish. Same applies if the "New Zealand Mud Snail" somehow get into your fishing gear, drift boat or Poontube. The "New Zealand Mud Snail, can survive up to two weeks out of water. Because of their very effective way of surviving, they soon take over any stream where there is no predator to control their numbers. Uncontrolled they can take over a trout stream with as many as a 1000 mud snails per square of stream bottom. The trout in the stream will perish from the lack of malnutrition.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_mud_snail

    The list of plants and living life forms that have found new homes in North America is staggering....

    http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/r...es/lists.shtml

    In Minnesota we are fighting battles against the following Aquatic Aniamal...
    Bighead Carp, Silver Carp and Grass Carp
    Faucet Snails
    NZ Mud Snails
    Zebra Mussels
    Round Goby (fish)
    Ruffe (fish)
    Rusty Crayfish
    Lamprey Eel
    Spiny Water Flea
    White Perch
    Chinese Snail
    Banded Snail
    just to name a few the aquatic animals, there are also other lists for aquatic vegetation

    http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives...als/index.html

    ~Parnelli
    Last edited by Steven McGarthwaite; 01-24-2011 at 05:44 AM.
    "Everyone you meet in life, give you happiness! Some by their arrival, others by their departure!" ~Parnelli

  3. #3

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    As a fellow Montanan the point on how many non-fishing water users is a good one. Fishing is pretty minimal compared water skiers, jet ski's etc. There are many places though (Noxon Reservoir on the Clark Fork as an example) that contain Millfoil which is on the move in NW Montana and it's a big bass tournament lake which has fishing boats coming an going all over the place. The state is now setting up check stations but these IMO aren't numerous enough to really do the job.
    Educating people in masse is what needs to happen. Make it part of licensing, posters in retail outlets, mailings and enforcement. As stated, fly fishing gear is just a tiny part of the big problem, the whole movement needs to be ratcheted up to apply to everyone using our water resources.

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    Let's not forget guys and gals that these new regulations speak to the use of felt, I'm pretty sure nobodies saying you must buy new boots.
    Many wading boots can be re-soled with new the rubber soles and/or studded rubber.

    We fly fishers over the decades have used sole materials other than felt.
    I wonder when they'll specifically outlaw outdoor carpeting , which has been used as sole material, with varying degrees of success.

    Dave

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    All you folks wearing rubber boots come on to the hills and fish in some lime stone stream with swift water and falls.............. update your insurance before hand.
    "Because by the Grace of God I can, be on a beautiful mountain stream with a friend , have the water boil from a 12" Native Brookie taking a self tyed dry,and feel it on the end of my cane... It don't get no better than that..."

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    I've said it before and I'll say it again: I have no intention of switching away from felt soles because some politician thinks I should.

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    I certainly agree that anglers abandoning felt soled wading shoes will not likely do much to prevent the spread of the wicked beasties. However, we are all talking about it now. Our awareness is heightened and I know that I, for one, will be more aggressive about cleaning my gear when I get home. Scrub, scrub, scrub, then dry thoroughly, preferably in the sun. I know, I know. The effect of UV radiation on your boots and waders will reduce their useful life, but it will also help to reduce the useful life the aforementioned wicked beasties.

    I agree that we need to do all we can to inform those who are not anglers about the spread of these and other invasive species. Talk it up, model good behavior by cleaning your boat and trailer on the way out of the water, be vigilant. Every little bit helps.

    Jeff

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    After 3 knee surgeries, including an ACL re-build+microfracture due, in part, to a real bad spill I took on Rock Creek (in felts, I admit), I have no desire to end up face down in a stream again, followed by a trip to the ortho. However, 2 of the states I fish the most, Maryland and Montana have or will implement a ban on felt soles, so I'll comply with the regulations. Don't know how long it will take to gain confidence in studded rubber soles; I know I'll wade much more carefully at first. Will make much difference in stopping rock snot spread? Probably not. However, my boots are pretty shot, so that makes it a little easier to take.

    Regards,
    Scott

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