A bill has been proposed in the Montana legislature that will ban felt soled wading boots starting October 1, 2012. At Headhunters, we are 100% behind the effort to stop the spread of ANS, and only sell non-felt boots in our shop. We are currently in debate about this proposed bill. If you are against this bill, how can you be supporting ANS prevention? Do personal opinions about the virtues of felt or the methods of transport matter? How do we feel about legislating what kind of equipment can be used while fishing on our rivers and lakes? The science backs up the fact that felt is by far the method of transport that does the most damage. Manufacturers have all but killed felt already, so does it really matter? We would like to know what your feelings are, whether you fish in Montana or not. Let the commenting begin.
NEW SECTION. Section 2. Use of felt-soled boots and waders prohibited. (1) A person may not use external felt-soled boots or external felt-soled waders in the waters of the state.
(2) The possession of external felt-soled boots or external felt-soled waders on the banks or shores of a stream or lake or in a boat, raft, canoe, or other water vessel is prima facie evidence that the person or persons in whose possession the boots or waders are found were using the boots or waders in the waters of the state.
(3) The provisions of this section do not apply to a state or federal employee or emergency personnel, including fire, law enforcement, and emergency medical technicians, using external felt-soled boots or external felt-soled waders when acting within the scope of duty.
Here is the science and links to the research…
In 2007 at Montana State University, graduate student Kiza Gates published the results of her study of the potential for angler movement of whirling disease (WD) http://etd.lib.montana.edu/etd/2007/gates/GatesK0507.pdf. In the course of her research she studied anglers’ waders to determine the probability of their transporting WD and discovered that the average angler who does not clean their boots is transporting 16.78 grams (.59oz) of sediment from one access site to another. The amount of sediment was the same for people arriving at a site and leaving a site which means that anglers are moving sediment between waters. Doing some very basic calculations, she determined that in 2005 angler boots moved more than 6,300 pounds of sediment between access sites in Southwestern Montana. Additionally, she calculated that non-resident anglers carried more than 1,600 pounds of sediment into and out of Montana.
The next question she looked at was if WD was being carried between sites in this sediment. Unfortunately, the level of technology available did not allow her to answer the question for WD. However, a New Zealand mud snail was discovered in the sediment recovered from one boot which shows that invasive species are definitely being transported in the sediment carried on waders.
Thus, we know that anglers can transport didymo in this fashion. But, is it being transported this way? Canadian researcher Max Bothwell and his collaborators have examined the spread of didymo on Vancouver Island to try and determine how the species is spread. Although they do not have actual observations of anglers causing new introductions, they concluded that “the pattern of didymo spread among rivers on Vancouver Island correlates with the activity of fishermen and the commercial introduction and widespread use of felt-soled waders in the late 1980s”
They present the complete results of their work in a scholarly article published in Fisheries http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wat/wq/studies/didymo-blooms.pdf. In the course of their research they noted a significant relationship between the presence of didymo and the presence of anglers. They particularly note rivers in which didymo is not found upstream of angler access points and rivers that are closed to fishing that are surrounded by didymo but remain free of it. They reference a number of other well documented examples from around the world that illustrate the connection between wading anglers and the spread of didymo.
Missouri River Flows
Great Falls Intl Airport, MT
Last Updated on Jun 18 2013, 12:53 am MDT
Current Conditions: Fair
Wind: SE at 9mph
Used Drift Boat For Sale
Used 2005 EMR with trailer, Cataract Oars, anchor, new rope, new NRS rowers seat. Trailer just rewired and hubs packed. Used hard but still in good shape. $4000 OBO. Call the shop.