1.11.2011   |   Felt Sole Wader Ban Hearing

Felt Sole Wader Ban Hearing - 6:00 7:00 PM


Washington St. Library
Conf. room 2nd floor
31 Washington Street Cumberland, MD 2150

Didymo, (Didymospheria germinata) or "Rock Snot" is an invasive alga of cold flowing waters. Individual didymo organisms are microscopic, but infestations include enormous numbers, and each individual produces a long stalk from the stream bottom. The resulting mass is a yellow-brown slime layer that can dominate the rivers and streams. Didymo infestations in North America are sufficiently new that scientists can only guess at the long-term ecological consequences. Dramatic changes in stream biology have been verified. Didymo is extremely unsightly and makes waterways unattractive to recreational users. Tragically, the list of places infected in the rapid spread of didymo reads like a catalog of the finest fly-fishing waters on the planet. Resources managers in North America, and especially in New Zealand, guessed early on that the felt-soled waders of traveling fly fishermen were the pathway for its spread. Subsequent field and laboratory demonstrated that the felt sole is an almost perfect medium for its spread. This regulation would prohibit the use of felt-soled waders in Maryland waters. Alaska and Vermont, states who rely heavily upon fly-fishermen for their tourism industry, have already moved to prohibit felt soles. Many fly-fishermen are aware of the risk and have switched from felt soles (if indeed they ever used them) to rubber soled waders. Rubber soled waders are readily available and some manufacturers (including Orvis and Simms) have or have announced plans to stop offering felt soles because of their potential to ruin rivers and devastate fly fishing both as an industry and as a tradition. Click for FAQ


  • Felts FAQ 121010.pdf

  • More Information >>