The state of Rhode Island released its 2012-13 fishing regulations brochure without much fanfare, offering no hint that there was anything controversial or game-changing inside. And it took anglers a little while to read all the way to the bottom of the section titled “Freshwater Fisheries Regulations,” where they were astonished to find something entirely new tacked on:
Such a regulation is obviously not new—Vermont and Maryland have enacted similar bans—but it was quite a shock to Rhode Island’s angling population, which didn’t know such a rule was coming. And unlike the bans in the other states, this one includes salt water.
While we think that bans on felt soles are in the best interest of fly fishers everywhere, it seems very strange that Rhode Island chose to implement such a ban without any public input. It will be interesting to see how this story progresses.