Reviews are mixed on the South Coast on the idea of banning felt-soled fishing boots to slow the spread of invasive species.

Jim Carey of the Rogue Outdoor Store said he thinks a ban would be a good idea, and his store will be taking matters into its own hands.

"We're getting to the point where we're phasing out felt-soled shoes," he said. "I've seen the (invasive species) problem in other areas, and it's starting to show up here."

Felt soles on boots are generally the preferred way to avoid slipping on rocks, especially in summer when moss builds up, Carey said.

"The felt soles are great because it's a great way to not slip on the rocks," he said. "I think anyone who really gets out there can see the advantage of felt soles."

Despite their popularity, his hard-lined stance shows that he's willing to give up a sure-fire product in hopes of saving the Rogue River from invasive species takeover.

"I really like them," he said of the felt soles. "But knowing what it does in transferring some of the (invasive species), man, I'm willing to give it up for the good of the industry."

Tony Roszkowski, of the Port O' Call in Bandon, doesn't think a ban will be much help.

"I think it's ludicrous," he said. "We should not have to be governed on the bottom of our shoes. We're getting a little out of hand."

It was the first he'd heard of the Oregon legislature considering the ban, and he said cleaning your boots is a personal responsibility that can be better reinforced by invasive species education.

He added that the Invasive Species Prevention Permits forced upon boaters was far enough, pondering if they would make anglers pay a fee to wear waders.

"It seems like a whole lot of a waste of time," he said.

Carey said he thinks every little change helps, especially since he's researched invasive species wreaking havoc in other areas, and doesn't want the same to happen to his local fisheries. He added that invasive species education hasn't quite done its job.

"I think a lot of people are maybe somewhat blind to it," he said.

Outdoors Editor Rachel Finney can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 237, or at rfinney@theworldlink.com.

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