Felt Sole Bans

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Bill Aubrey, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. Bill Aubrey

    Bill Aubrey Active Member

    Road tripping anytime soon? Felt soles are now banned in Alaska, Maryland, Vermont, Rhode Island (fresh and salt) and Missouri.
    Rhode Island Bans Felt Soles

    Posted on 12/28/2011 by admin
    From Invasive Species Action Network:
    Effective January 1, 2012 Rhode Island has banned the use of felt soles in both fresh and salt water. The ban has been implemented administratively as part of the 2012 fishing regulations. It seems that this ban was developed without public notice.
    The new rule states “It is prohibited that any person use foot gear with external felt soles in any state waters, inclusive of freshwater, tidal, or marine. This shall include any waters shared with adjacent states in which any Rhode Island Fishing Regulations apply.” The rule is found in the 2012/2013 Rhode Island Fishing Regulations it is regulation #1.17 on page 9.
    With the Alaska statewide ban also taking effect on January 1 there will be four states (Alaska, Maryland, Rhode Island and Vermont) with statewide bans. Missouri will be implementing a ban on felt in trout waters effective March 1, 2012
    This entry was posted in Conservation, Industry Job Listings and tagged Invasive Species Action Network, Rhode Island Felt Ban. Bookmark the permalink.
  2. Leopardbow

    Leopardbow Member

    Haven't heard a peep that the WDFW is moving that direction here, they seem to be more focused on boater education and awareness from spreading invasive species that way.
    Derek Young likes this.
  3. Olive bugger

    Olive bugger Active Member

    Just a question. What about parasites hitching a ride on natural carriers, like ducks and geese, or even raccoons?

    I have no problem with the ban if it is effective. But I sure do if it is just another bureaucracy power grab. Obviously the zebra mussels would not be a hitchhiker,at least not on wildlife, but whirling disease could be, perhaps. And then there is that pesky problem of non native species being introduced into waterways.
  4. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

    They were talking about it here in Montana last year. Since they banned felt soles in those other states, are they also going to ban the shoelaces in those boots. Just as much shit gets on your laces that get on your felt soles.

    This sounds like a political thing.
  5. Roper

    Roper Idiot Savant

    Washington can't do anything until Kalifornia does first...:rolleyes:
    ribka likes this.
  6. fisherjon

    fisherjon Member

    isnt didymo a big problem over that way?
  7. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    So true Roper...and I'm amazed KA hasn't been at the forefront of the ban the felt crusade -- wonder what's up with that :confused:

    I have to say, that my experience is that nothing works as good as felt on most of the treacherous stuff. I tried Korkers tread sole and hated them. I also tried the Simms non-felt sole and found them no better. If I fall and bust my bum, I'm going to file a class action lawsuit :D
    ribka likes this.
  8. Pontooner

    Pontooner Member

    "Just a question. What about parasites hitching a ride on natural carriers, like ducks and geese, or even raccoons?"

    I sure hope they dont ban the ducks, geese and raccoons, I sure like seeing wildlife while I fish.
  9. lylelovett666

    lylelovett666 Active Member

    I recall reading that Simms had a lot to do with this and the fact is the laces and the uppers are going to carry whatever just like felt soles.Pure BS meant only to promote sales.I've also never read one good report about the rubber soled boots other than to say they are usable as long as they are studded but trash without.I will never buy a Simms product again.
  10. neilbeaver

    neilbeaver New Member

    I don't think the main groups who work on these kinds of bans really care about this issue here in the state. They're more focused on larger issues.

    I've been told the best way to deal with the problem is wash your boots with a little bleach mixture between trips.
  11. Olive bugger

    Olive bugger Active Member

    I read in the Alaska State report, I believe it was Alaska, well, one of the 57 state's publications, that no one solvent or chemial or process would cure all of the illnesses of the water quality. My own words here. Now I can neither prove nor disprove that bleach will do the trick. I was always told that bleach would kill most anything. But that said, apparently it will not kill mildew or even make it sick. It grows with abandon in my area.

    I question the statement that the main groups that work on these kinds of bans are more focused on larger issues. I doubt that they are really focused on much of anything that does not shine and tinkle.

    Like the Old man said, I suspect a political statement, or perhaps a commercial effort to steer buyers away from more conventional products to something that NEW AND IMPROVED.
  12. I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments expressed here. Unless legislation can solve ALL OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS CONFRONTING OUR NATURAL WORLD (including the spread of invasive species that harm our fisheries), nothing should be done. This business of picking the low hanging fruit, when it might only solve part of the problem, is NONSENSE.


    PS: for the rhetorically challenged, this is written with tongue firmly in cheek.
    Irafly likes this.
  13. Bill Aubrey

    Bill Aubrey Active Member

    I was surprised in a way that so many states had banned felt. I also feel that it is a lot safer for wading than all of those magic rubber soles that have come out in the past couple of years. Remember the articles reviewing them? At the same time, I know that in reality, a lot of anglers will not properly and thoroughly clean their boots after each dunking. And, I think there is solid evidence that invasive species do hitchhike. So what to do? Has anyone looked at the new metal "crampons" Patagonia has come out with? I have not seen them except in ads. I think they are like $200 a pair! And isn't Simms now coming back out with felt again, after ceasing felt sales?
  14. Olive bugger

    Olive bugger Active Member

    Yes, I like the felt soles best, also. I have slipped with rubber soles too many times not to. If it were simply a matter of someone's pride getting wet I guess I would not be concerned so much. But rivers are dangerous places as we all most likely know, and a fall and injury or worse is something to consider in the situation.
    I stand by my statement, that if banning felt will fix the problem then ok, let us do it. But I have not seen any solid information that it will accomplish much of anything. I suspect, but have no way to verify this, but perhaps whirling disease spore will adhere to rubber as well as felt. If so, then a ban of felt has accomplished nothing. Same with other species of contamination. I wish I had an answer. I certainly don't. But a move like this without solid science behind it, is just so much fertilizer, another problem.
    Skysoldier likes this.
  15. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

    Because the unwanted organisms can hitch a ride on boot laces and material creases as well as the fabric waders are made of, banning felt isn't likely to help. Maybe they should ban wading boots, waders, and the act of wading in rivers.

    When felts are outlawed, only OUTLAWs will wear felt.

    Mayfly Aviator likes this.
  16. Olive bugger

    Olive bugger Active Member

    Or restrict you to one river to fish?
    Maybe I should not have posted that. It might give them an idea.
  17. Rick Todd

    Rick Todd Active Member

    I was in New Zealand a while back and had to fish without my felts. Even with studs they don't work as well. In fact, on dry rock, the studs are dangerously slippery! We had to soak our waders and boots in a bleach solution after every days fishing. The guides were also talking about all the deer, elk, ducks and geese that went from one river system to another and how stupid the non-felt rule was. Rick
  18. Chuckanduck

    Chuckanduck Member

    I have done a lot of research on invasives and the felt sole bans. I will summarize the results below.
    1. Simms and Trout Unlimited started the ball rolling.
    2. Didymo is a native species in the northern hemisphere, not an invasive.
    3. The UK has documented Didymo for 150 years with periodic blooms.
    4. Whirling disease is found commonly in Brown Trout in Europe and has been present probably forever. So where did our brown trout come from?
    5.Didymo and whirling disease can survive passage through the gut of migratory waterfowl.
    6.If you read the laws banning felt soles carefully, you will find that Federal and State workers are exempt. So you could be given a ticket for wearing felt soled boots by a game warden who is wearing felt soled boots!
    7.Didymo blooms have been documented recently in remote streams in Glacier National park rarely frequented by fishermen. The report implicates global warming as a cause of Didymo blooms.
    8.Simms admits that treating wading equipment with bleach will destroy the material.
    9.Simms originally announced that they would no longer make felt soled wading boots but they went back on that promise this year.
    10.A law with a penalty of thousands of dollars and possible jail time has not prevented the spread of Didymo in New Zealand, where it is not native.
    11.The only actual research I was able to find shows that the biomass of trout food organisms actually increased in areas of a stream with Didymo blooms.
    12.Whirling disease can survive freezing for at least 3 months.
    13.There is a whirling disease resistant strain of rainbow trout and rainbows have now returned to 60 to 70% of their original numbers in the Madison.
    14.Although whirling disease is found in the Missouri River system in Montana, no decrease in the rainbow trout population has been found.

    I could go on, but why? Banning felt soles is a marketing gimmick that has started the political ball rolling and where it stops no one knows!
    All it takes in ONE SINGLE CELL of these organisms, or one stocked fish that is infected. For example, Colorado stocks millions of fish annually infected with whirling disease from their hatcheries.
    Please write your Fish and Game Departments about this. Don't let it happen in your State!

    P.S. I will supply references for each of the 14 statements above if you are interested.
  19. Olive bugger

    Olive bugger Active Member

    Thank you for your well documented post. Perhaps if we, as fishermen and women, shed enough light on this issue, we can perhaps debunk it and maybe others just as disagreeable.
  20. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

    Now that felt is banned in some places. What do they do with the alternate that some people use. I fished with a guy that had glued shag carpet to the bottoms of his boots, it worked better than felt. I used to give him a bad time about it.

    Are they going to ban that also.