The Missouri Conservation Commission has approved a regulation change banning the use of porous-soled waders or footwear incorporating or having attached a porous sole of felted, matted, or woven fibrous material when fishing in trout parks and other specific trout waters. Pending public comment through the Secretary of State’s office, the new regulation will go into effect March 1, 2012, the opening day of catch-and-keep fishing at Missouri’s four trout parks.
To help reduce the spread of didymo, MDC encourages anglers to remember: Check, then Clean or Dry.
* Check all gear and equipment and remove any visible algae. Dispose of algae by placing it in the trash, not by putting it down a drain or into bodies of water.
* Then Clean all gear and equipment with a solution of 2-percent bleach, 5-percent saltwater, or dishwashing detergent. Allow all equipment to stay in contact with the solution for at least three minutes. Soak all soft items, such as felt-soled waders and wader boot cuffs, neoprene waders and life jackets, in the solution for at least 20 minutes.
* Or then Dry all gear and equipment for at least 48 hours by exposing it to sunlight.
To help anglers clean their waders before entering Missouri trout streams, MDC has installed wader wash stations at Missouri’s five cold-water trout hatcheries: Bennett Spring State Park near Lebanon, Montauk State Park near Salem, Roaring River State Park near Cassville, Maramec Spring Park near St. James and Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery by the upper portion of Lake Taneycomo near Branson.
All anglers are encouraged to replace their porous-soled waders with ones that have non-porous rubber or synthetic soles.
Anglers can adapt felt-soled and other porous-soled waders to comply with the new regulation by sealing the soles with solutions of contact cement or marine rubber cement. VanPatten notes the cement may need to be reapplied after each use. MDC offers an instructional video for sealing waders at http://www.youtube.com/watch?
“Adapting waders is not a cure,” VanPatten cautions. “It is just one step in prevention. It is still vital to check and clean or dry all waders and all other gear that have had contact with the water.”
MDC held public open-house forums in March and April in communities near Missouri’s trout parks and hatcheries to help educate anglers, outfitters, retailers and boaters about the dangers of didymo, the need to replace porous-soled waders and to get public feedback on the proposed regulation change.