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  • Sunday, May 21, 2017

    Whimsy Rules

    THE FELT BOOGEYMAN
    This Needs An EIA
    the web foot fiend
    PIGGY BACK YOUR INVASIVE SPECIES
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    .. We mentioned it a few weeks back, [LINK-A.]
    .. Yellowstone National Park was then considering the possibility of outlawing felt soles on wading shoes, waders, sandals and other bits of fly fishing impedimenta.
    THE LATEST MONEY MAKER
    ..  At that meeting we asked if all means of transport of Invasive species would be banned. To wit: laces on boots, buckles on sandals, cleats and lugs on boots, neoprene spats and socks, etc.
    .. The answer we received was, "Yes there are many ways to transport invasive species."
    NOT BANNED  ??
    .. Talk to the birds. Rough webbed feet even carry fish eggs from place to place.
    .. Mud pack between the toes of bears, lions, coyotes, wolves, and foxes distribute spores and other organisms across the landscape and from watershed to watershed.
    NOT FELT
    .. Holes in fishing nets, eroded cork on rods, wet vests, double seamed cuffs, and a myriad other places can hide bits of protoplasm. Ban them all?
    .. It's not the "STUFF" that moves the organisms around it's human behavior. Failure to correctly clean the "STUFF" is the problem. Soaking felt soles in a tub with appropriate disinfectant will do the job - after a thorough rinsing.
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    .. Six or seven years ago the folks down under were worried about Didymo Geminata {'rock snot'/Didymo.}
    .. We were a bit worried ourselves, [LINK-B.] Then, come to find out it is an indigenous goo that has been around since the terminal Pleistocene, (at least,)[LINK-C.]
    SNOTTY STUFF
    .. For some time great hay was made by folks damning this aquatic invasive species in our waters.
    .. The rush was on to stop it and get rid of it. Even though much of it was native to the area. Blooms seem to be temperature and flow related.
    .. Interestingly, quixotic solutions were explored. Some fly shops even had cleaning stations, (which were quickly abandoned because competitors sent customers their way.)
    .. Despite any definitive scientific information that banning felt soles would prove effective in eliminating the threat of invasion; the thought continues. It's not the stuff it's our behavior.
    .. Do you suppose that banning tablespoons from the dinner table will stop the obese from overeating?
    .. Several states have enacted laws banning, (or even manufacturing,) felt soles. Several have also reversed the ban in light of continuing research.
    DO YOU CLEAN YOUR SEAMS ??
    ..  Dare we suggest that the micro pores of neoprene are both conducive and advantageous to transportation of organisms?
    .. Dare we point out that these self same pores are excellent water traps? How long is it before your $400 neoprene waders are truly dry? Seams too?
    .. Are there seams in your breathable waders? Are the feet neoprene? Neoprene socks? Do we need to ban all of these or just behave appropriately.
    .. Does wearing rubber soles mean that you don't have to clean your boot laces? Will a change in regulations give anglers an excuse to not clean correctly.
    .. We are pretty sure that felt soles provide a perfect environment for preserving life of unwanted organisms. Felt can stay wet or damp for days. Soaking in disinfectant is far better than just spraying.
    .. We are also pretty sure that banning felt will not change angler behavior with regard to cleaning and disinfecting gear.
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    .. Thanks to a note in MOLDY CHUM we now know that the ban on felt is under very serious consideration. They refer us to East Idaho News Dot Com, [LINK-D.]
    .. If this consideration is very serious there are several important things that need to be clearly elucidated:
    1) What invasive species are currently being transported by felt soles? Evidence? Opinion?
    2) What invasive species could be transported by felt soles? Evidence? Opinion?
    3) What are the types of prevention that alternate soles can provide? How effective? Evidence? Opinion?
    4) Are there better and worse alternative soles available? Evidence? Opinion?
    5) Is public safety at risk by banning felt soles? Evidence? Opinion?
    6) Is the preservation or, elimination or, restriction of in situ aquatic invasive species justifiable as a rationale for a park wide regulation?  Evidence? Opinion?
    7) What is being done - OR - can be done to eliminate the current aquatic invasive species in the park?
    8) Why is there not an EIA for this action?
    9) Will there be additional law enforcement staff added to enforce the regulation? Why or why not?
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    .. Yellowstone National Park has a history of promulgating regulations and behaviors in the fish arena that smell like dead fish.
    .. They have introduced four invasive species on purpose! They continue to encourage the invasive species in waters where they never were. They have done nothing to preserve or restore pristine water where they could and it was feasible.
    .. The imperious staff runs willy nilly through watersheds and regulations with gay abandon. On the one hand they provide no written rationale for spurious actions and on the other they provide opinion instead of fact when questioned.
    .. Of course there is no public input for the proposed ban on felt soles. There is no scientific justification that banning felt soles changes angler behavior. There is not even a rationale for the change from safe to treacherous wading systems.
    .. We know that this blurb will fall on deaf ears. Fly fishers in Yellowstone National Park just want to catch big invasive trout and deliver a hero shot for the folks back home.
    .. The guides and feather merchants like it too. Besides now they can sell more waders, boots, sandals, and not worry about muddy lugs or shoe laces.
    RESOURCES
    >> Felt Soles And Dirty Feet
    >> More Eyesore Than Despoiler Of Watersheds
    >> Simms And Felt
    >> The Science Of Felt (PDF)
    >> Transported Species And State Bans
    >> Fly Fishing Forum Discussion
    >> GOOGLE SEARCH (Felt Soles And Invasive Species)
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    .. The slow recession of our west side rivers leaves some doubt about the good fishing and catching prospects for the opener in Yellowstone National Park.
    .. The Firehole River looks to be O.K. Get on it early it's warmer than usual and the bugs are already popping.
    .. The Madison River is still over bank but surprisingly clear. We'll watch it for you. Remember MAY 27 is just 6 days from now.
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    WALLPAPER:  MADISON RIVER AT FLOOD STAGE