Felt Ban in Montana

These are about to be on the chopping block in MT.

The Felt Ban is heating up in Montana.  There is a proposed bill in the Montana legislature that will ban felt soled wading boots starting October 1, 2011.  There is tons of information out there to educate everyone about the serious issues of Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS).  Google it and read about it.  Felt is the number one carrier of ANS, but not the only problem.  Laces, neoprene booties, gussets, and insoles help to spread ANS as well.  It is not just felt, should all boots with laces, gussets and insoles which get wet be banned as well?  The odds of someone spreading ANS around with non felt boots is still high.  Safety while wading has been a very talked about issue with regards to wearing rubber boots. 

What do you think?

Here is a link to the proposed bill on banning felt in Montana: Felt ban in MT

 NEW SECTION.  Section 2.  Use of felt-soled boots and waders prohibited. (1) A person may not use external felt-soled boots or external felt-soled waders in the waters of the state.     (2) The possession of external felt-soled boots or external felt-soled waders on the banks or shores of a stream or lake or in a boat, raft, canoe, or other water vessel is prima facie evidence that the person or persons in whose possession the boots or waders are found were using the boots or waders in the waters of the state.

     (3) The provisions of this section do not apply to a state or federal employee or emergency personnel, including fire, law enforcement, and emergency medical technicians, using external felt-soled boots or external felt-soled waders when acting within the scope of duty.

 What do you think?

6 Comments so far

  1. JohnD on January 13th, 2011

    I think there is no way this will pass

  2. Zac on January 13th, 2011

    I think its complete bullshit.

  3. Joe on January 14th, 2011

    There is a ton of conversation going on about felt, all over the internet. Get educated about the subject so when it comes to your state you can have a worthy opinion. Check out The Headhunter (Headhunter Fly Shop’s blog), Singlebarbed, and Trout Underground for some interesting reading and some edcuation.

    Not to say that the above comments to my post aren’t worthy. Personally, BSA is still on the fence regarding this issue. We have a problem with the way the legislation is written allowing State and Fed employees (think FWP and fish shocking – they were felt) to keep wearing felt in the scope of their jobs. They too should have to abide….. The science behind it is interesting and I would like to see someone, a non-biased non-angler organization, do some more research. Paricularly in the dept of waterfowl transmission of ANS…that will be a tough one to study considering that waterfowl aren’t as easy to track down as a pair of wading boots from an angler. Do we (BSA) want to help spread ANS around while guiding and fishing throughout Montana? Of course not. Hell no. When I travel back and forth from the Missouri to the Madison I stop in Ennis and Helena and wash out my boat. I also wear different boots on these rivers. A pair for the Madison and a pair for the Missouri. I also freeze my wading boots that I take into Yellowstone National Park, the Henry’s Fork, Yellowstone, Gallatin and other smaller streams. Big Sky Anglers doesn’t want to ram a piece of legislation through the MT 2011 Session just becuase it “looks” good for the environment. Especially when more research should be done on this subject. But the fact that felt is hard to disinfect is the ultimate demise of felt. Banning felt will give some anglers a false sense of security as wading boots as a whole carry ANS….I wonder what a pair of wet smartwool socks carries around?

    Education is key. Cleaning your gear is IMPORTANT! Some folks think there is not enough time for more research to be done. Some folks think man in general, is pretty vain to think that we can stop the spread of ANS. Some folks think that we should whatever we can to slow the spread of ANS. Some believe that by banning felt that the boot manufactures will have to keep coming up with better designs for non-slip wading boots. Is felt going away? Probably. Are you going to slip more often on large, fast flowing freestone rivers? Most of you will, some won’t.

  4. CraigG on January 22nd, 2011

    I think that the felt ban by the various Fish and Wildlife agencies is a “Knee Jerk” reaction to the problem. Sure, there is a problem; however, education on how to prevent the spead of ANS is the best solution. There have been numerous articles and stories regarding the spread of ANS…enough to make the fishing public aware of the problem and how to take corrective action to stop the spread of ANS. There have been many controversial issues in the past affecting fish and wildlife that have been corrected through education and not by an outright ban.

  5. Don M on February 3rd, 2011

    The sooner the better. No serious fisherman with concern for his waters would buy a new felt pair of boots anyway.
    Next do something about the spread of tiger mussels and asian milfoil. Require boats afloat in any body known to be contaminated to have proof of clean prior to launching in any other body of water.

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