Vermont Fish and Wildlife recently announced that a ban on the use of felt-soled waders in Vermont has been repealed, effective July 1, 2016.
Using felt-soled waders and boots was prohibited in 2011 out of concern about the spread of didymo, an algae also known as “rock snot,” which was appearing as nuisance blooms in trout rivers throughout North America, including some rivers in Vermont.
The porous felt on boot bottoms helps prevent slipping on rocks, but it was considered a potential means of transporting the algae spores from one body of water to another.
Didymo was once thought to be a recently introduced invasive algae species, but recent research has revealed that it is actually native to Vermont and other regions of North America. Scientists found that didymo spores are present in most Vermont rivers, and the spores can cause nuisance algae blooms under certain water conditions favoring growth of the algae.
Although felt-soled waders and boots can once again be used in state waters, the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is asking anglers and other water recreationists to thoroughly clean and dry all of their equipment after leaving any water body before going to another.
source: Vermont Fish and Wildlife