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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

May 24, 2012 at 4:52 PM

Sport anglers not allowed to use felt soles in Alaskan freshwater areas

Anglers planning a trip to Alaska need to be aware of a new regulation that bans the use of waders or boots with felt soles while fishing in all freshwater areas of Alaska.

Footgear with absorbent felt or other fibrous material on the soles were banned to reduce and prevent the spread of invasive organisms, including plants into Alaskan waters, which can threaten fish habitat and populations.

A news release by the Alaska Department Fish and Game says anglers should follow these rules:

CLEAN: Rinse and remove any mud, sediment, and/or plant debris from all gear, boats, and boat trailers, floatplane rudders and floats, and anything that comes into contact with the water. Separate all pieces of wading footgear and waders (remove liners, etc.) to check for and remove visible mud, sediment and/or plant debris before leaving the area. Use a stiff bristle brush to clean all fishing gear.

DRAIN: Empty all water from coolers, bilge pumps, buckets, and wring out gear before leaving the boat launch or fishing areas.

DRY: Completely dry gear between systems or trips.

DECONTAMINATE: If drying is not possible, either freeze gear until solid or wash gear in water heated to 130 degrees. If drying, freezing or heating gear is not feasible, use a 2 percent bleach solution to clean gear away from fresh water recreation sites. Spray or rinse gear for one minute. A 2 percent bleach solution can be made easily by mixing 2.5 oz. of chlorine bleach with tap water to make 1 gallon of solution.

NOTE: Bleach solutions may degrade gear made of absorbent materials. Please rinse gear on land, away from fresh water fishing areas and dispose of disinfectants as indicated on the label.

For more information on preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species, visit the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website.

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