Anglers are reminded that effective Jan. 1, foot gear with absorbent felt or other fibrous material on the soles are prohibited while sport fishing in the fresh waters of Alaska. The regulation was adopted by the Alaska Board of Fisheries in 2010, to reduce the potential for introduction and spread of invasive organisms, including plants, into Alaska waters. Invasive organisms spread by contaminated waders and other gear, can threaten resident fish stocks and important fish habitat.
Wading boots are not the only means of transporting invasive species; all fishing, boating, or recreational equipment exposed to aquatic invasive species are potential carriers.
To reduce the chance of introducing invasive species, anglers should:
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 Farenheit. 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 ounces of chlorine bleach with tap water to make one gallon of solution. Bleach solutions may degrade gear made of absorbent materials. Rinse gear on land, away from fresh water fishing areas and dispose of disinfectants as indicated on the label.
Report invasive species by calling, 877-INVASIV.
For more information on preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species into Alaska’s waters, visit the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website, www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=invasive.main.