Felt soled wading boots have been identified as a primary vector for transferring aquatic invasive species such as Whirling Disease, didymo, mudsnails and zebra mussels that have devastated fisheries elsewhere.
Alaska waters are particularly at risk from this type of species transmission because of the high number of anglers that visit Alaska from places with invasive species problems. TU is working with anglers across Alaska to reduce the spread of invasive species by teaching anglers appropriate gear cleaning methods and what species to watch for.
Early in 2009, the Alaska Board of Fisheries (BOF) passed a proposal that will ban the use of felt sole wading boots in Southeast Alaska beginning in 2011. At the Statewide Finfish BOF meeting this spring, Proposal 184 will ask the Board to consider expanding the ban to cover all Alaska waters. Read the full proposal and consider supporting it at the Board of Fisheries meeting March 16-21st.