Felt waders banned

Posted: Thursday, March 25, 2010

Anglers with felt-soled waders have two more years to spring a leak before they'll have to turn them in.

Photo By Dante Petri
Photo By Dante Petri
A group of anglers fish for steelhead in the Anchor River in October 2009. A recent decision made by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's Board of Fisheries will ban felt sole wading products starting Jan. 1, 2012.

The Alaska Board of Fisheries voted unanimously last week to ban felt-soled waders in Alaska freshwaters effective Jan. 1, 2012, out of concern they could transport invasive aquatic species between water bodies.

Trout Unlimited, a national fisheries conservation group, made the push for the ban, arguing that felt stays wet longer than rubber boots and can carry more sediment.

Felt-soled waders were due to be banned the beginning of 2011 in Southeast, however that change will now occur at a later date.

The ban will only apply to anglers. Duck hunters for example, who also use waders, will not be subject to the ruling.

Local angler advocacy groups were tacit on the issue.

Ricky Gease, executive director of the Kenai River Sport Fishing Association in Soldotna offered no comment on the ruling as did Dwight Kramer, chairman of the Kenai Area Fishermen's Coalition.

Calls placed to Soldotna Trustworthy Hardware and Fishing seeking comment on whether the ruling would impact sales were not immediately returned on Wednesday.

Dante Petri can be reached at dante.petri@peninsulaclarion.com.

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