Felt Sole Wading Boots Banned in Alaska
Effective January 1st, 2012, felt sole wading boots are banned statewide in Alaska. Alaska is the first to enact a statewide ban on felt. Other states including Oregon and Montana are weighing legislation that would ban felt soles.
Alaska has some of the most pristine fresh water streams in the world, almost completely free of invasive species. The prohibition on felt is a preventive measure to keep our streams pristine. It is obvious that felt is not the “sole” cause of invasive species but it plays a role. A study conducted by Montana State University found that the average pair of felt sole wading boots carried 22.10 grams of sediment. If that doesn’t seems like a lot, just ask whoever mops out our dry tent at the Alaska Wilderness SAFARI camp!
Felt sole are not the only mode of transportation for invasive species though. Seams on your waders and boots and the laces on your boots can also transport nasty critters. So, no matter what you wear, felt or rubber, clean your gear thoroughly before your next fishing trip.