Pennsylvania State Capitol Building

Advocates for tighter regulations and appropriate taxation of drilling operations within the State of Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale region have announced plans to rally at the State Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg next Tuesday, January 17th. The goal of the rally is to urge legislators, who will be returning to work after a winter break, to reject House Bill 1950 and Senate Bill 1100. Both bills have been sharply criticized by environmental and conservation groups for failing to set adequate regulations on drilling operations, failing to adequately tax energy companies and for removing from local governments the power to regulate drilling operations.

Organizers of the rally also have plans to hold a virtual rally online for those who are unable to attend the rally in person. As an alternative to the two rallies, organizers are asking supporters to call their representatives on the day of the rally, urging them to reject HB 1950 and SB 1100, both of which may potentially come to a vote this month.

Best Fishing Sunglasses of 2011

It's not everyday that you begin a feature with a definition of one of the words in the title. Still, here we go. Best [best]: (adj.) A standout amongst counterparts; of the highest quality, excellence or standing. Now that you know what we think "best" means, take note that these are our opinions. None of us are opthalmologists, optometrists or otherwise experts on optics, nor can any of us every recall claiming to be so. That said, we wear a lot of fishing sunglasses and consider it very serious business. Trust me, if you're otherwise obsessed with gear -- and you're not currently obsessing over sunglasses -- boy, are you missing out.

Frivolous obsessions aside, however, sunglasses are one of the most important and crucial pieces of gear in a fisherman's arsenal. While it's certainly not always true in fishing that you can't catch what you can't see, vision is one of the key aspects of the game. Sunglasses play a key role in how good your vision on the water is, so there's a lot to be said for getting it right.

The few selections that follow are our favorite of the glasses we tested during this past year. Some of these are new to market, some are not.

Blake Klopfenstein of Cleanline Sportfishing Tofino releasing a winterrun steelhead on a remote system in Clayquot Sound, BC.

For the second time in recent months, the results of a study testing samples of salmon collected in British Columbia has shown alleged evidence of the lethal salmon virus, Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA). Results released late last year, from a study at Simon Fraser University, showed evidence of ISA in two wild sockeye salmon collected from the waters of Rivers Inlet, British Columbia. Most recently, results of a tests at Canada's Pacific Biological Station were made public at an evidentiary hearing at the Cohen Commission in Vancouver and reported by the The Westerly. As detailed by the station's head of molecular genetics, Dr. Kristi Miller, test results indicate that ISA - or a variation of it - is present in British Columbia salmon.

The test conducted by the Pacific Biological Station inspected samples of Chinook salmon from farming operations in B.C., which exhibited evidence of the ISA virus. In fact, Dr. Miller indicated that 25% of all samples tested positive for ISA. Dr. Miller also indicated that ISA-positive samples from 1986 were also detected by the test, indicating that ISA has been present in B.C. waters for over 25 years.

Ohio Earthquake Linked to Fracking

If you spend even a small amount of your time enjoying the vast recreational resources of natural environments, you've likely found yourself needing little proof of catastrophic events in order to take a stand against hydraulic fracturing. Better known as fracking, hydraulic fracturing involves drilling deep into underground rock formations and injecting chemical-laden, pressurized water in order to create micro fractures that allow gas and oil which would otherwise be trapped to escape. Fracking operations involve mass-disruption of natural environments through the building of roads and drilling sites, generate millions of gallons of chemical and radiation laced wastewater, have been linked to contamination of groundwater, lakes, and rivers, and evidence continues to mount that establishes fracking operations as the cause of earthquakes around the globe.

Most recently, a series of earthquakes -- culminating in a 4.0 magnitude quake on New Year's Eve -- in Ohio, are being linked to drilling operations harvesting natural gas and oil from Ohio's Utica Shale formation. Scientists have stated that, like earthquakes which have been circumstantially linked to drilling operations in other locations, the links between drilling and subsequent earthquakes are persuasive. Repeatedly, earthquakes occur subsequent to drilling operations in direct proximity to wastewater injection wells and during time periods which match the establishment and operation of those wells. The State of Ohio found the link persuasive enough to shut down operation at 5 wells surrounding the recent Utica Shale formation quakes.