A false conclusion on the spread of didymo leads to positive changes in wading boot technology.
When the “rock snot” didymo algae started blooming in beloved trout streams across the region and around the country in the mid-2000s, most of us believed the theory that the nuisance was being carried from river to river in the damp felt soles of anglers’ shoes.
It seemed perfectly plausible, since didymo spores had been shown to live a long time in damp felt, and many of us have been known to fish a stream while our felts were still wet from the last one.
An article in “Fisheries” magazine in 2009, titled “On the Boots of Fishermen: The History of Didymo Blooms on Vancouver Island, British Columbia,” seemed to cement the idea in the trout fishing establishment. The next thing you knew, states were banning felt soles, advocacy groups were begging anglers not to use them and tackle companies all but stopped…
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