Felt-Soled Waders Restrictions

New Zealand’s freshwaters are one of this country’s greatest assets, and the envy of the world. They are a uniquely accessible resource for anglers, kayakers, boaters and walkers throughout our country.

felt soled wadersWe are all stakeholders in their future and our first priority must be the sustainability of our rivers and lakes, so that future generations may gain the same pleasure from them that we have.

The invasion of didymo has not only threatened the quality of our angling experience, it has drawn attention to the ease with which other microscopic aquatic pests can spread. Preventing the arrival and spread of all unwanted aquatic pests must be a high priority for all river uses. Imagine a New Zealand where you could not catch trout and salmon locally, where fishing was limited to a handful of uncontaminated waters besieged by thousands of anglers, and where rivers and lakes the length and breadth of both islands were clogged with didymo or affected by some other pest?

Felt soled waders are believed to be an important vector in the spreading of microscopic aquatic pests, including didymo. Restricting their use may well inconvenience some people in the short term, but the potential benefit – decreasing the further spread of these pests, is surely worthwhile.

Amongst the high volume of positive feedback we have received, there have also been legitimate concerns and questions raised, and these are we respond to these queries below.

If you feel you would like further information, or have other concerns you would like addressed, please let us know.

Listen here to Fish & Game Chief Executive Bryce Johnson discussing the felt soled waders issue on Radio NZ Questions and answers on restricting the use of felt soles for sports fishing.

Click on the 'Felt Soled Waders Restrictions' link on our general FAQ's section here to see responses to FAQs on this topic.