Alaska Fisheries State Board is slated to make Alaska the first state to ban felt-soled waders in fishing streams statewide. During the boards spring meeting it was decided to initiate the ban starting in January 2012.
Microorganisms and other contaminates are spread by Felt-soled waders and in the right circumstances makes fish sick. While it is suspected that any fishing gear that is transported wet or reintroduced into a various bodies of water could potentially contaminate untainted streams felt-soled shoes have been identified as one of the vectors for introducing invasive species.
The Alaska Fishing Board’s decision delays a previously set regional ban in Southeast Alaska, that would have eliminated felt soled waders by 2011 under a previous Board decision. Rest assured that the ban on felt soled waders only applies to freshwater lakes and streams and not saltwater bodies.
Overall this is a positive win for the Alaska Fishing environment in that it is minimally invasive to the fishing experience and also keeps the contamination of the pristine freshwater bodies out and keeping the Salmon and Trout we love to fish safe.