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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Maryland Bans Felt Soles

Maryland will become the first state to enforce a felt sole ban for wading in its waters.  This ban becomes effective March 21, 2011.

This ban will take place as an attempt to stifle the spread of aquatic invasive and nuisance species with didymo being the main culprit in the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) view.

"You couldn’t find a more effective method for transporting microscopic species from one place to another than the felt soles used by anglers,” said Jonathan McKnight, Associate Director of DNR’s Wildlife & Heritage Service. “Felt is an excellent collection material, and it stays wet over time between locations, which allows organisms to survive.”

Fish diseases like whirling disease are also carried by felt soles.  Whirling disease can have a devastating impact on trout fisheries.

So by the looks of it, felt soled waders in Maryland have about a month to shop for and buy a new pair of wading boots.