The Youghiogheny River ("The Yough") in Ohiopyle State Park, is one of Pennsylvania's premier trout fisheries.

PennFuture, one of Pennsylvania's leading environmental advocacy organizations, is calling for support for their efforts to bring legislative action to stop the prospect of natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania's state parks. Gas companies, which are steadily expanding drilling operations throughout the state, are current performing preliminary studies evaluating state parks for drilling operations. Most importantly, despite seeming counter-intuitive, drilling for gas in Pennsylvania's state parks is currently completely legal.

Although it may come as a surprise to many, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania does not own the mineral rights to over 80 percent of the land in Pennsylvania's state parks. This is a result of the fact that when the state acquired the majority of the land currently established as state park lands, the mineral rights to these lands had already been purchased or were too expensive to acquire. The state acquired only the land, not the right to drill below its surface, and the current laws of Pennsylvania give the current owners of these mineral rights full authority to develop their assets.

Puerto Rico Bonefish

As a continuation in our ongoing "20 Questions" series, we sat down with guide Chris Goldmark who splits time in Puerto Rico and New Jersey guiding for bluefish, stripers, bonefish, tarpon and jack crevalle just to name a few. To learn more about Chris before reading his innermost thoughts, check out his guide profile. Also check the links below the interview for our brief writeup on bonefishing in Culebra.

Hatch Magazine: Every fly fisherman thinks the big three (bonefish, tarpon, permit) when the Caribbean is mentioned. What's the next-best (or better) species to target on the fly in Culebra?

Chris Goldmark: Big Jacks, crevalles and especially Horse eye.

HM: You're quoted in an earlier article in Hatch Magazine as saying that "Culebra should never be considered a major Bonefish destination by any stretch of the imagination," yet you've decided to make it not only your home for six months of the year, but the location for your bonefishing guide business. What gives? Why anchor your business and invite other anglers to visit a destination that is so un-major? Surely it's not just the food at Mamasita's, right?

Delaware River Basin Commission

Late last week, the city council of Philadelphia's 17 member panel voted unanimously to pass a resolution to sue the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC). The purpose of the lawsuit is to insist no drilling of the Marcellus Shale take place in the Delaware River Basin, which provides Philadelphia residents with 100% of their drinking water, until a full environmental impact assessment is completed. The DRBC has stated recently that it plans to vote on November 21, ending the current moratorium on drilling and opening the Delaware River basin to fracking.


The lawsuit joins others filed by the Attorney General of the New York and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, amongst others. The lawsuits demands both a Delaware River Basin-specific cumulative impacts study and the EPA national study of the risks high-volume hydraulic fracturing poses to drinking water, according to Protecting Our Waters.

Autumn Fishing for Steelhead on the Klickitat River

The Native Fish Society (NFS), an advocacy group which strives to promote policies and practices that protect historically abundant native fish populations, is urging individuals to take action to have their voice heard regarding the expansion of hatchery operations on Washington's Klickitat River. According to the NFS, a proposal drafted this summer by the Bonneville Power Authority and the Yakama Klickitat Fish Project, which oversee hatchery operations on the Klickitat, will put already endangered native fish populations at increased risk.

The issue, claims NFS, stems from decades of hatchery released, non-native fall Chinook, Coho and skamania Steelhead. Fall Chinook, of which 4 million are released each year, are a documented threat to the Klickitat's native spring Chinook. The Kilckitat's spring Chinook run, which once numbered in the thousands, has been reduced to around 300, leaving the spring Chinook population on the brink of eradication. Non-native, hatchery Coho and skamania Steelhead both threaten the Klickitat's native summer and winter Steelhead, which have been listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act since 1999.

PennFuture Logo

In a recent press release, PennFuture -- named Pennsylvania's leading environmental advocacy group by the Philadelphia Inquirer -- has criticized PA Governor Tom Corbett's proposed Marcellus Shale drilling plan. PennFuture president Jan Jarret says the plan is drafted in the best interest of the drilling industry, rather than in the best interests of Pennsylvania citizens.

PennFuture Logo

According to Jarret, the proposed plan is wrought with shortcomings, stating "this plan is neither fair nor comprehensive, and is full of giveaways to the drillers. It appears that the governor’s thinking in devising his plan was, ‘What’s the least I can ask of the drilling industry?' The proposed impact fee is too small, full of loopholes, unwieldy to administer, and leaves too much money on the table,” continued Jarrett. “It also fails to address the serious needs our citizens and communities face in these hard economic times, and allows the drillers to pay very little in return for the massive profits they make from Pennsylvania’s resources."