Trout Unlimited applauds the Alaska Board of Fisheries for adopting a statewide phase-out of felt sole wading products, effective Jan. 1, 2012. The move is aimed at guarding against the spread of aquatic invasive species.
The board on Friday, March 19, passed the proposal unanimously after hearing testimony earlier in the week from anglers, lodge owners and others who warned that unless Alaska takes action to protect its freshwater rivers, lakes and streams, they risk becoming infected as in other parts of the world. Alaska is now the first state to enact a complete statewide ban on felt sole wading gear.
“The board should be commended for taking this proactive step to end the use of felt sole boots and waders in Alaska which are a significant source of transmission of invasive species. Usually it takes a crisis for people to wake up and act. In this case, the board followed the lead of science, vetted the issue thoroughly, and made the right decision for the future health of Alaska fisheries,” said Mark Kaelke, TU Southeast Alaska Project Director.