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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Moist boots = snotty results?

I, the River Rat, understand that you bipedal primates were not made to nimbly navigate my rivers. I have watched many times from the weeds as you struggle between the banks to keep your footing. Therefore, I think that your solution of gluing felt onto the bottom of your wading boots to increase traction was quite commendable and ingenious. However, scientists and the angling community around the globe are having trouble denying the correlation between this practice of wearing felt-soled wading boots widely adopted in the late 1980s and the spread of a nasty invader, Rock Snot (aka Didymosphenia geminate). Check out this interesting paper: “The Science of Felt – 2009: A look at the science driving the move to eliminate the use of felt soled waders” by the Center for Aquatic Nuisance Species.

Didymos occurrences across the U.S.

Didymo cells can remain alive and well nestled up in felt as long as they stay moist. Felt, unlike most other materials on anglers’ equipment, may stay moist for days harboring these appalling single celled boogers. It takes merely ONE invisible cell to spread this stuff.

Photo: Biosecurity New Zealand

Several states are considering banning the sale or use of felt to help protect fisheries and other aquatic life, like myself. Vermont and Alaska have already passed such laws. Missouri is the first Midwest state to consider this. Should Wisconsin should be the next? What do you think?

posted by the River Rat