Save Our Native Species Inc.
S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie Fishing Club
(A 501 C (3) not for profit organization)





SON'S Stuff


Photo Gallery


Contact Information:
Jerry Skrypzak

Vice President
Ed Kissell

Don Tombaugh

Terry Pfeffer

Mail: PO Box 3605
Erie, Pennsylvania 16508

Phone/Fax: 814-453-2270


Newsletter The S.O.N.S. publish a monthly newsletter, ('The Bucket") that is mailed to its members. It contains articles and information that is of interest to our readers. 

May ,  2019 Bucket

Next Meeting – Monday,  May 20, 2019 at 7:30 PM at the Polish Falcons Club 431 E. 3rd St and it will be the last meeting until September. Good Fishing! Have safe and fun Summer.


Our May meeting will be one week earlier on May 20th due to the Memorial Day holiday

PROGRAM:  PFBC Executive Director Tim Schaeffer will be our speaker and will fill us in on future PFBC plans.

Fishing Report:


Timothy Schaeffer, Executive Director of the PA Fish and Boat Commission will be our speaker at our May 20th General Membership meeting. Director Schaeffer took over the helm of the PFBC on November 13th, 2018 taking the place of retiring John Arway.

The Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is appointed by the 10 Commissioners and is the Commission's chief executive officer as well as chief waterways conservation officer, and has charge of all activities under the jurisdiction of the Commission.

In addition to his duties he is a member of the following: Atlantic Fishery Management Council, Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board and Wild Resource Conservation Board, and an ex officio member of the Boating Advisory Board and the Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

Director Schaeffer will discuss current and future business of the Commission.

Executive Director Schaeffer


PA Fish and Boat Commissioner, Ed Mascharka announced that he is retiring from his position in which he has served since 2010. He has been the representative for District 1 which includes Erie, Crawford, Forest, Mercer, Warren, Venango Clarion, Butler and Lawrence Counties. Ed was elected president of the Commission in 2015. He has served us with dedication, skill and professionalism during his term as commissioner. He has sponsored and spearheaded many improvements to our fishery not only on Lake Erie but for the entire state for which we will be eternally grateful.

Commissioner Mascharka


On Monday May 6th S.O.N.S. hatchery volunteers transferred over 1 million walleye “eyed wigglers” as the tiny newly hatched walleye are called into the waters of Presque Isle Bay. Also stocked were the balance of the over 700 brown trout which were reared in our facility since November. There were about 4 quarts of perch eggs that were still incubating and were stocked later. This was all accomplished under our continuing relationship with the PFBC under the Cooperative Nursery program of which we have been members since 1985.

An open house for the public was held on May 4th & 5th and over 150 men, women and children came to experience our newly renovated facility. We are proud of the hard work of our hatchery crew and were glad to display their hard work.

To learn more visit our website at sonsoflakeerie.org and click on 2018-19 Hatchery Operations 



May 6th, stocking day broke the cold, damp, foggy and windy trend that we had experienced at our prior events so far this spring. It was sunny, middle 60’s and calm. Nineteen volunteers helped to get our fish into the Bay that day. Thanks to Joe Springer, Keith Cauvel, Rich Smith, Rich Brine, Ron Morrow, Earl Williams, Bill Stewart, Jason Stewart, Mary Runser, Doug Vest, Vic Kraus, Jack Bock, John Russel, Jim Mattson, Larry Lipinski, Don Tombaugh, Bob Zawadzki, Nolan Pyle and Paul Holtz for their hard work at the hatchery.


In 1885 – The newly formed PA Fish Commission obtained a $5,000 legislative appropriation to establish a hatchery in Erie that began operating on December 12 of that year. The hatchery was built on the corner of West 2nd and Sassafras St. on an 85 ½ X 85 ½ foot piece of property. There were three small ponds situated on the property.

The hatchery was established to support Erie’s growing commercial fishing industry. During that period millions of fish eggs were hatched from white fish, herring, blue pike, walleye and even frogs. The first hatchery operated until 1916 when it was replaced by an outstanding facility on Presque Isle bay on Erie Waterworks property. It operated until the early 1960’s until it was closed. The building still exists and is now the headquarters of the Erie Waterworks. In 1985 the SONS of Lake Erie petitioned the State Legislature and PA Fish Commission to reinstitute a hatchery in Erie. In 1985 the Erie Western PA Port Authority was awarded a grant for that purpose and the current SONS hatchery was completed.

In the past the commercial fisherman would take the spawn and eggs from fish in the spring and turn them over to the hatchery for processing. Reminiscent to those events, this year one of Erie’s commercial fishermen, Jim Shaeffer gave us about 4 quarts of fertilized yellow perch eggs for us to hatch out. (To learn more about Erie’s Commercial Fishing Industry pick up a copy of “Fortune and Fury” co-authored by Dave Frew and Jerry Skrypzak. We have copies for sale at $10.00 each plus shipping or you can get a copy at the TREC Center, Erie County Historical Society, the Maritime Museum, The Jefferson Society or Werner Books or Call 814-453-2270)


Shown above on the left is a postcard from the early 1900’s showing a crew from a commercial fish tug posing with their catch “in the box” on the right is a photo of Jim Shaeffer and his crew posing in the same way on the day that they gave us 4 quarts of yellow perch eggs to hatch.


When the Erie Sports Store were closing down after 67 years Rich Weber called and said he had something he wanted to give us. It turned out to be a 4 ft fiberglass and foam sculpture of a yellow perch created by Erie artist, Jerry Thompson. Jerry first made the piece about 30 years ago for Dick May who had it on display at May’s Tavern on East Lake Rd. When Dick retired he gave it to the Erie Sport Store who had in on display at the downtown location, then moved it to the upper Peach store where it was on display until it closed. The artist, Jerry Thompson, restored it and our hatchery crew mounted it outside the building along with a new composite sign that was furnished by the PFBC.




Top Left Artist, Jerry Thompson poses with the newly mounted yellow perch sculpture. Top right Jerry works on its  restoration. Bottom our hatchery committee members pose outside with new signage. L to R. Chairman Bob Zawadzki, Don Tombaugh, oe Springer, Rich Smith and Jack Bock. 


​HARRISBURG, Pa. (April 17) – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) has partnered with Bass Pro Shops in Harrisburg and Bethlehem-based ArtsQuest to sponsor the 2019 "Spring into Fishing Giveaway!"

Prizes for this giveaway are sure to entice outdoor enthusiasts and music fans, and include:

Grand Prize: Ascend 10T sit-on-top fishing kayak (white/grey camo), Ascend tournament kayak paddle, and Ascend paddling fishing life vest donated by Bass Pro Shops, Harrisburg, PA.

First Prize: Two (2) tickets to see country music superstar Brad Paisley at Musikfest on August 11 in Bethlehem, PA, donated by ArtsQuest.

Second Prize: Shimano Sedona Fish Eagle rod/reel combo and Shadow Tech net

The public can enter this giveaway by visiting www.GoneFishingPA.comOpens In A New Window now through June 3, 2019. No purchase is required. Winners will be selected in a random drawing on or about July 1, 2019. Complete official rules can be found here.

For contest rules go to: https://pfbc.pa.gov/BoatGiveawayRules.pdf


The Presque Isle Clean up took place on April 20th it was cold and rainy only 100 volunteers showed up, On April 26th it was warm and rainy however we met with about 20 kids from Mrs. Tolbert’s Life Skills class at the Girard Borough Pond where in spite of the rain, a lot of nice fish were caught. The following day we met again at Waterworks Pond where we attempted to conduct a Family Fishing event in conjunction with a Spring into Science event at the TREC. It was cold and rainy but still we had about 30 participants mostly from the Scout troop from the Elmwood United Presbyterian Church. On Saturday May 4th our volunteers gathered at the pond at Harborcreek Township Municipal Park along with about 100 adults and kids for a family fishing event in spite of a damp heavy fog that hung over the area. Not many fish were caught but it seems that everybody had a good time.  Also on May 4th the same crappy weather existed at  3-CU’s Middle Rd. raceway in Fairview Township. Our volunteers were there helping a group of military veterans fish for trout. This is an annual event but this year only four fish were caught.  For some photos of those events visit our website at sonsoflakeerie.org.

Volunteers at the 2019 Presque Isle Clean up

Girard Life Skills Class

Elmwood United Presbyterian Church Scouts at Waterworks pond on May 27th


Foggy day at the Harborcreek township pond on May 4th on the right is Blain Oler with a nice trout he caught on that day.

May 4th at 3-CU’s Middle Rd. Facility annual veterans outing (Photos by Rich Brine)



In an effort to have some fun this upcoming fishing season we are sponsoring a fishing contest that will run from May 12th until September 15th.  If you catch a large perch or walleye you can enter it into the contest where the angler who catches the largest perch or the largest walleye will win the bragging rights and some nice prizes. You must be a SONS member to enter. For more information see below:

Yellow Perch / Walleye Fishing Event
Presented by the S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie Fishing Club

Rules / Entry Requirements

  • No Entry Fee
  • Must be a S.O.N.S. Member to Enter (Except under 16 years of age)
  • Must have a Current PA Fishing License and Lake Erie and Trout Stamp
  • Must obey all PA Fish & Boat Regulations
  • All Fish to be Judged by Weight Only (Only Yellow Perch longer than 12 inches and Walleye longer than 26 inches will qualify for weigh in.) Ties to be determined by Date of Entry

Length of Fishing Event

  • Start Date: 12:01 AM May 12th, 2019  Ending Date: 11:59 PM September 15th, 2019

Fishing Locations

  • Only fish caught in Pennsylvania Waters of Lake Erie, Its Tributaries  and  Presque Isle Bay will qualify

Weigh-In Stations

  • Elk Creek Sports         10543 Old Lake Rd.   Lake City, PA 814-774-8755
  • Poor Richard’s Bait & Tackle 6821 West Lake Rd. Fairview, PA  814-474-5623
  • Fish USA        6960 West Ridge Rd. Fairview, PA   814-881-5375
  • Lake Erie Bait & Tackle  317 Peninsula Drive  Erie, PA   814-790-5728
  • East End Angler  4702 East Lake Rd.  Harborcreek, PA    814-898-3474
  • North East Marina 11950 East Lake Rd.  North East, PA    814-725-8244



Plaques and other awards to be awarded for adult and junior anglers by Outdoor Writer, Mike  Bleech and the S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie Fishing Club 

Note: You make check the status of the fishing event by checking at the sonsoflakeerie.org web site.



HARRISBURG, Pa. (April 30) – During today's formal meeting, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) Board of Commissioners acted on numerous property access and real estate matters intended to provide more public fishing and boating access within the Lake Erie watershed.

Under one agreement in Crawford County, Commissioners authorized the $11,200 purchase of easement rights on 540 linear feet of property along Conneaut Creek near Beaver Street owned by Springboro Borough. In a second agreement, the Board voted to authorize an easement acquisition of 5,560 linear feet along Fourmile Creek, which flows through seven parcels of property south of Route 20 in Wesleyville Borough, Erie County. This waterway is known to provide significant steelhead fishing opportunities. Both easements would be funded using monies collected by the PFBC through the sale of special Lake Erie fishing permits. To date, the PFBC has acquired 27.48 miles (145,094 linear feet) of public fishing access in the Lake Erie Watershed through easements and land purchases under the Erie Access Improvement Program.`
Below  is a photo of  Kasey Kensill (Age 13) posing with a beautiful palomino trout that he caught while fishing on Brokenstraw Creek on the first day of trout season. He is posing with his uncle Mark Hansen. Kasey is the grandson of Joe Hansen, the proprietor of Hansen’s Bait Stand that was located at the entrance to Presque Isle State Park. Kasey is the son Andria (Hansen) and Ken Kensill. Joe Hansen was a strong supporter of the SONS from the very beginning. He would be so proud of his family

Kasey Kensill and Mark Hansen


SONS member John C. Tomikiel has written a new book .                               

 You can buy it at Werner Books or the gift shop at the TREC center


Upcoming Events:

Wed. May 22nd 10-12 Waterworks Pond PISP McKean Elementary  Volunteers needed

Sat. May 25th 9-12 Perry Monument Area PISP EPSFA Kids Fishing outing volunteers needed

Sat. June 1st 9-12 Girard Borough Park Family Fishing Outing Volunteers needed

Sat. June 8th   10-12 Waterworks Pond PISP Cub Scouts fishing derby Volunteers needed

Tues. June 25th 10-12 Waterworks Pond PISP Waterford YMCA Kids fishing Vol.needed

Fri. July 19th 10-2 Waterworks Pond PISP Union City family Support Center Outing Volunteers needed

Fri. July 26th Lawrence Park Public Library National Fishing Month Vol. .needed to do casting

Sat. July 27th 8-12 Waterworks Pond PISP Discover Presque Isle Family Fishing Volunteers needed

Mon, July 29th 12-2 Waterworks Pond PISP Edinboro YMCA Kids fishing Volunteers needed

Mon.  Aug. 5th 5-? Shade’s Beach Volunteers’ Picnic

Watch for changes in the  upcoming summer  issues of the Bucket

1990 Carver Montego 26 ft  Model 2557, Fiberglass hull, Merc Cruiser 350, galley, head, shower, radio, power trim tabs, AC/DC refrigerator, nice, low hours, $8,500.00 or best offer Call Dennis at 814-450-0190 Can be seen at Lampe Marina.
Cottage on Crooked Creek in North Springfield, PA Call David at 814-882-2927. More information and photos can be seen on line at

Wanted Old photographs of Erie’s Waterfront-Ships, Boats, Buildings, Fishing, and Fishermen, Railroads etc. Call Jerry at 814-452-6291. I would like to borrow and scan them for my slide presentations.


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