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Disease Control

Common Sense Wader and Equipment Disinfection Procedure

By Phil Wright — for the Rocky Mountain Flycasters, Colorado Trout Unlimited, Fort Collins CO

For the past few years I have been hearing more and more about harmful plants, animals and diseases that are being introduced into our waterways by recreationalists and others. When I do volunteer work on greenback cutthroat trout restoration in Rocky Mountain National Park I am always advised that I must disinfect my gear before I enter the water.

I really want to comply as I believe many others do as well, but I think that some of the procedures for disinfection that have been published and distributed while effective may be so laborious, time consuming, and expensive that I suspect some fishers just find them too difficult. I also question whether some of the procedures may lead to unintended secondary effects such as negative environmental effects when the chemical solutions are perhaps disposed of incorrectly or excessively.

In all, I have wanted to establish a disinfection procedure that was effective, inexpensive, environmentally sound, and did not damage equipment. I also wanted to use a procedure that was easy enough to perform that fishers would be able to comply easily with the guidelines. To this end, I have studied the recommended procedures and developed a very simple, effective procedure that can be set up at the beginning of the season, and used throughout the season without much replenishment if any. I did not invent anything new but I tried to pick the simplest, cheapest, and safest of the recommended procedures and combine them with some common sense practices and ideas. The procedures used and referenced here should also be appropriate for use prior to fishing all Colorado trout waters.

Procedures have been recently updated. Please download the most recent disinfection Guidelines from Phil Wright.

The following pictures help illustrate Phil's working cleaning station. If you have any questions, please contact Phil Wright.

Assembled Materials
Figure 1. Disinfection Setup, Supplies and Gear (Chest waders, hip boots, wading boots)
Stored Materials
Figure 2. Disinfection Setup stored when not in use
Hot soak
Figure 3. If you don’t freeze gear overnight, soak gear for 1 minute in 120°F+ Hot water
Drying racks
Figure 4. These patio chairs make great drying racks
Last updated on 31 Dec, 2019