Taking the Pledge

  On April 1, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department put out a press release announcing that their Commissioner, Patrick Berry, was preparing for the opening of fishing season by taking the Clean Angling Pledge. Berry strongly endorsed the pledge and urged every Vermont angler to log on to www.cleanangling.org and take the pledge.

    “Vermont Fish & Wildlife takes this issue very seriously,” Berry said. “We have a strict cleaning protocol in place for our employees that mandates a very through and complete cleaning of their gear after each use. This pledge helps remind anglers to develop their own cleaning routine for all of their gear, too.”

    Berry’s pledge came the same week that Vermont became the second U.S. state to ban the use of felt-soled wading boots. Vermont’s ban, enacted in 2010 by the Vermont Legislature, began April 1, 2011.  Berry made note of the ban while stressing the importance of cleaning. “It’s important to note that simply making the switch from felt to a rubber-soled boots does not absolve an angler, hunter or trapper from still having to clean their gear,” Berry said. “Rubber-soled boots are easier to clean than felt, but we have to remain vigilant to protect our resources.”   Read More

     It’s great to have the commissioner join the ranks of anglers who have committed to taking personal responsibility by taking the Pledge. The simple actions of Inspect, Clean and Dry are the best defense against moving invasives.

Invasive Mussels Are Altering Entire Great Lakes Ecosystem

    The invasion of the Great Lakes by Zebra and Quagga mussels has dramatically altered the ecology of these unimaginably large waters. New research is emerging that shows just how dramatic the changes are. Incidental Oligotrophication of North American Great Lakes is the title of a recently published article that discusses the food web impacts on the Great Lakes.

   “These are astounding changes, a tremendous shifting of the very base of the food web in those lakes into a state that has not been seen in the recorded history of the lakes,” said Mary Anne Evans, lead author of a paper scheduled for publication in the April 15 edition of the journal Environmental Science & Technology. “We’re talking about massive, ecosystem-wide changes.”  Read More
    For an excellent overview of just how the ecology of the Great Lakes is being impacted check out this overview prepared for the Inland Seas Education Association by Dr. David Jude.  Read More

Felt Legislation Update

   The dust is settling on legislative season and all the felt legislation that we know about is now settled for this year. In Montana and Oregon proposed laws never made it out of committee. However a couple of states did pass new legislation relating to felt.

   A new Maine law requires “The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in consultation with the Department of Environmental Protection shall examine issues related to the control of invasive aquatic species, including but not limited to the use of felt-soled waders and the spread of invasive aquatic species, and report to the Joint Standing Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife by January 15, 2012. The report may include any recommendations concerning legislation.” When this Maine report is released next year we will have full info for you.  Read More

   The Invasive Species Resolution from Idaho has been adopted as expected. This resolution is designed to raise awareness of the problem in Idaho. The Resolution specifically addresses the use of felt: “Idaho congratulates those fishing tackle manufacturers that offer alternatives to felt soles, for their foresight and efforts to offer products that reduce the threat and potential transfer of aquatic nuisance species. Other manufacturers, both domestic and foreign, are encouraged to engineer, develop, manufacture and sell similar products that reduce and/or help prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species”.Read More

    New attention on the use of felt is sure to be raised with the publication of an article about felt sole bans in USA Today. They offer a brief review of the problem and the varied response.  Read More

    As always, you can find the status of every felt restriction in the US at   Status of US Felt Restrictions



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