Save Our Native Species Inc.
S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie Fishing Club
(A501C (3) not for profit organization)






SON'S. Stuff


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Contact Information:
Jerry Skrypzak

Vice President
Ed Kissell

Don Tombaugh

Terry Pfeffer

Mail: PO Box 3605
Erie, Pennsylvania 16508

Phone/Fax: 814-453-2270




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The Friends of Fish Foundation Continues Their Support

For 17 years in a row the Friends of Fish Foundation, a Philadelphia based philanthropic organization, has again made a significant contribution to the S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie. Total contributions from this generous group over the last 17 years have exceeded $200,000.00. Sadly for us this will be the last of these donations because the fund has been liquidated and  the balance in it has been distributed to other organizations like us.

Over the years we have used their generous donations to accomplish significant projects including land acquisition at Trout Run, a handicapped accessible ramp at the North Pier, fishing access at the Liberty Pier, hatchery up grades including up grades to  our electrical system and lighting and repairs to our water intake for the hatchery and last year we used it for an engineering study to build a fishing platform on the north end of the Holland St. pier which is now moving forward.  We are very grateful for their years of generosity and wish them success in their future endeavors. Our goal is to hold this last generous donation and apply it to a long lasting improvement to the Lake Erie fishery.


The Friends of Fish Foundation President, Bruce Garland, is an avid steelhead fisherman who travels all the way from Philadelphia to fish Lake Erie. He caught this 35 inch beauty while fishing on 20 Mile Creek in December of 2015.


The Annual Spring Clean-up at Presque Isle State Park took place on Saturday April 20th. For eight years in a row, the S.O.N.S. have co-sponsored the event along with the Presque Isle Partnership. We do so by organizing and serving lunch to the volunteers. This year due to inclement weather only about 100 volunteers participated. There were forty S.O.N.S. volunteers who prepared and served over 300 hot dogs and gallons of coffee and hot chocolate. We always have a great time doing this event.


S.O.N.S. Annual Outreach Fish Fry

On Wednesday September 4th 2019 at 9:00 AM thirty- four SONS volunteers gathered at the Bay Harbor East Marina facility in order to prepare for our 36th annual fish fry. 164 Guests came to the picnic. Walleye sandwiches and assorted salads were served to the guests. Over 90 lbs. were prepared by our expert fish fryers, Rich Smith, Bill Stewart, Jason Stewart, Ralph Friend and Rich Muse after each piece was meticulously gone over by or expert filet crew for bones. Each piece was dipped in a special beer batter mix that was prepared by Ralph Corvaglia and Bill Brown. The food was served buffet style by our serving team. The guests were asked to register at our welcoming table where they were invited to become or renew their SONS memberships. 94 of our guests signed up.

 Since its beginning, the fish fry has been our way to carry our message directly to those individuals that help us protect and grow our fishery. The individuals who are invited to the fish fry were partners, stakeholders, friends and those who have helped us achieve our goals throughout the year. They include state and municipal officials, agency members, educators and vendors. The picnic was held at the beautiful Bay Harbor East Marina thanks to its management who let us use the facility for the third year in a row. The weather was cool along the waterfront but still pleasant.  We owe a great vote of thanks to the fishermen who participated in the Erie Pennsylvania Sport Fishing Association’s Summer Slam tournament. Many of the tournament’s participants contributed fish as well as many of our members for this fish fry and a second one that we provided at the Emmaus Soup Kitchen on September 13th. (See the story in our October issue)

Thanks to the hard work from our volunteers especially Chuck Miller and Bob Zawadzki who handled the logistics to make the event a huge success. Our team is the greatest.

Below are some photos from the day:



On Friday September 13th,2019 thirty two SONS of Lake Erie volunteers gathered at the Emmaus Soup Kitchen in Erie where together with the Emmaus staff under the direction of Sister Mary Miller prepared and served fish dinners for over 220 people. This is the fifth year in a row that we have provided this fish dinner. The fish for the event were donated by fishermen who participated in the Erie PA Sport Fishing Association Summer Slam Walleye Tournament. Below are some photos from that day. Note out of respect for the individuals that receive their meals at the Emmaus Soup Kitchen, we do not publish photos of them.

The S.O.N.S. Receive the Prophet of Peace Award

The Benedictine Sisters of Erie presented their 2015 Prophet of Peace Award to the S.O.N.S. of Lake for their extraordinary efforts to improve fishing on Lake Erie and its Pennsylvania tributaries. Their dedication to promoting the growth and health of the Lake Erie Fishery has resulted in a contribution that is both significant and far-reaching. Their work is indeed a pursuit of justice and peace that is rooted in reverence and respect for all of God’s creation  

“This award recognizes an individual or group that embodies some aspect of the community’s corporate commitment and its concerns for prophetic witness, peace and justice, sustainability, and the needs of women and children,” said Sister Anne Wambach, Prioress. “By their very example and their efforts, the S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie stand before us as an example of what prophets do: call attention to central and pressing issues of their day.”  

The S.O.N.S. received the award at a special Evening Prayer held at Mount Saint Benedict Monastery on the feast of St. Scholastica with a reception following. President of the organization, Jerry Skrypzak, who accepted the award along with Vice President, Ed Kissell, expressed how honored the group was to be chosen: "Wow! I don’t think there are any words to express what I am feeling right now ... thank you for this great honor. It is our pleasure to accept it for doing something we love."