Effective January 1, 2012 Rhode Island has banned the use of felt soles in both fresh and salt water. The ban has been implemented administratively as part of the 2012 fishing regulations. It seems that this ban was developed without public notice.
The new rule states “It is prohibited that any person use foot gear with external felt soles in any state waters, inclusive of freshwater, tidal, or marine. This shall include any waters shared with adjacent states in which any Rhode Island Fishing Regulations apply.” The rule is found in the 2012/2013 Rhode Island Fishing Regulations it is regulation #1.17 on page 9.
With the Alaska statewide ban also taking effect on January 1 there will be four states (Alaska, Maryland, Rhode Island and Vermont) with statewide bans. Missouri will be implementing a ban on felt in trout waters effective March 1, 2012