I had lunch with a fisheries biologist recently. The main topic of conversation was aquatic hitchhikers. A big portion of the discussion was about felt soles on wading boots. I find myself in a fair number of these discussions now. The reason - there is a problem. Invasive species (Didymo, New Zealand Mudsnails, Whirling Disease and others) are spreading quite fast. How much is by fly fisherman and felt? It's complex. Even if you use rubber soled wading boots you can transport organisms (laces, gravel guards, boot linnings). With that said, it does appear as though felt can add a lot of disease transporting capability.The biologist explained the various gear soaking solutions, timelines and such required for safe disinfection. The practice of disinfection is routine for biologists but I suspect not for a large number of fisher folk. How close is this issue to you? Do you know the disinfection procedures? Do you practice gear disinfection?Let me know your thoughts on the issue of aquatic hitchhikers and felt.
Photo courtesy of Moldy Chum