On the Water magazine is reporting that the RI DEM has rescinded the ban on felt sole waders in saltwater. It is true since I checked the latest regulations at the DEM site, and there is no reference to felt soles being banned in saltwater. However, the ban in freshwater remains (which does make sense). Here is the quote from On the Water:
Surf fishermen in the Ocean State received some good news this week. Steve Medieros from Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association reported that RI DEM has filed an official regulation change that will amend the ban on felt-soled wading boots, removing the reference to “marine waters.” Felt-soles will remain prohibited in all of Rhode Island’s freshwater waterways. It goes to show that letters, emails and phone calls to the right people can go a long way.
I applaud the efforts of RISAA (Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association) in helping to get this ban rescinded. I know they have been working hard in the background to get this corrected. This group has been in the forefront of every single issue that has affected us saltwater fishermen from menhaden regulations to the saltwater license to access issues, to poaching regulations, etc., and in all instances their efforts have greatly benefited the saltwater fishermen of this state. Hats off to RISAA once again.
I would also like to thank the DEM for changing this rule and listening to the fishermen of this state. They were big boys on this issue, realized they made a mistake and changed it. Had the rule remained in effect, it would have been a financial hardship for many to buy new waders, and it would have set up dangerous footing for many who fish on slippery rocks.