Our Native Species Inc.
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.
June 2017 Bucket
NEXT MEETING: September25. Have a Fun and Safe Summer. Good Fishing!
Fishing Report: At this time perch fishing has been picking up off of Shade’s Beach and Walnut Creek. Nice catches of walleye are being taken but some are below the legal size limit. PFBC Senior Biologist, Chuck Murray spoke at our May 22nd meeting and predicted that walleye fishing would be good this year but noted that small walleyes would be plentiful. The forecast for perch however would be average. Emerald shiners, the preferred bait for perch appear to be scarce at this time. The weird weather this spring coupled to high water levels appear to be factors.
LARGE STURGEON CAUGHT IN TRAP NETS
The crew from the commercial fishing boat, Real Glory caught a 5 foot 8 inch sturgeon in their trap nets on May 21, 2017 while fishing in the PA waters of Lake Erie. The last reported catch of a sturgeon was on June 24, 2009. A 37 inch was caught by an angler who was perch fishing on the Edward John.
Sturgeon are native to Lake Erie and were quite abundant in our Lake Erie waters in the late 1800’s. Initially the fish were considered a nuisance by commercial netters at that time. The fish can grow to 200 lbs and live 100 years or more. Due to their large size they would get into the nets and with their huge power they would tear them up. The fish were killed and their carcasses were dumped on the shore of Presque Isle in an area still known as “Stink Hole” today.
It was found that sturgeon had a high commercial value for their caviar, and flesh and they became a targeted species. They were fished heavily and soon reached near extinction. There was some discussion about restoring sturgeon stocks in Lake Erie but no programs have yet been implemented. The fish is protected and cannot be harvested. The sturgeon that was caught in the nets of the Real Glory was released after being photographed and measured. Below is a photo that was provided to the PFBC by the crew. WCO Captain Tom Edwards provided the photo to us.
STURGEON FROM THE PAST
The above photo was taken at Freeport Beach in the late 1800’s. The fishermen are posing with a catch of sturgeon. The photo was provided by Bob Wellington. His Great Grandfather is in the photo
SONS VP Ed Kissell holds a birthday cake while birthday boys Terry Pfeffer (R) and Ray Yurcak (L) blow out the candles in celebration of their birthdays at our May 22 meeting. Ray was 91 and Terry was 75. Ray’s son, Buddy Yurcak also had a birthday on the same day as his dad.
TRAP NET MAP PUBLISHED BY PFBC
The PA Fish and Boat Commission has published a map on their web site that approximates the location of commercial trap nets in Lake Erie. (See flags on map) It can be found on line at: http://pfbc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=94c479bbf9e14e8c9621aefedf1d7860
They also offer a downloadable brochure ”Don’t Get Trapped” in pdf version that explains the design and use of trap nets it can be downloaded at : http://www.fishandboat.com/Resource/Lakes/Documents/DontGetTrapped.pdf
The brochure also highlights hints on how to avoid getting caught in the nets.
HOW TO AVOID TRAP NETS Look for red, orange or black flag markers buoys and floats marking the nets. Give wide berth when passing trap net buoys and flag markers, as nets have many anchor lines extending in all directions. Do not pass or troll between trap net buoys, as propeller blades and/or fishing gear may easily snag net lines.
IF TANGLED IN A TRAP NET Always keep bow of boat facing lakeward. Shut off the engine if prop becomes tangled. Snagged downrigger cables can be dangerous—release any tension on cables and cut. Do not enter the water to untangle nets. Do not attempt to lift nets. Do not fish in the vicinity of nets. Do not cut lines or buoys of commercial gear.
IT TAKES GUTS
Above is a photo of a small shed that is located on the grounds of Lampe Marina. It is a refrigerated enclosure in which barrels are provided for accepting fish guts and carcasses. It was put there by a mink rancher who uses the discarded fish carcasses to feed the mink. There is another located at Charter Boat Row on State St. Check your Fishing Regulations book for the cleaning and transporting fish section.
LAKE ERIE WEATHER BUOYS HAVE BEEN DEPLOYED
The Regional Science Consortium (RSC) has again deployed two water quality buoys in Lake Erie. One is located off of the Presque Isle Lighthouse and the other off of Walnut Creek. The RSC in conjunction with NOAA has been part of a water quality buoy network since 2014. The nearshore buoys are the crown jewel of this project. The buoy off of the lighthouse was built and first deployed in the spring of 2014. The deployment also marked the start of WQData LIVE’s integration into the project. The buoy is a NexSens CB-1250 which houses an iSIC Data Logger, and 3 12V batteries. Beneath the buoy, there is a YSI EXO2 Multi-Parameter Water Quality Sonde to measure water temperature, conductivity, pH, turbidity and dissolved oxygen. There is also a wave sensor that calculates wave height and direction. On top of the buoy is a tower with three solar panels to keep the batteries charged. Mounted atop this tower is a weather station and a camera. The camera records ten-second videos once every hour throughout the day and then uploads them along with the data. A second buoy was added off of Walnut Creek in 2016.
Each system in the project sends its data
back to a central computer that handles uploading to WQData LIVE. When the
data gets to the cloud, they are stored securely in the database and will
appear immediately on the website for project members to access. The
Regional Science Consortium has also opted to share this data with the
public through WQData LIVE’s public portal and through the LIVE Datacenter
mobile app. This gives everyone the ability to check on environmental and
weather conditions on Lake Erie and the beaches of Erie, PA from any
computer or mobile device. The videos that are uploaded from the buoy camera
are organized by WQData LIVE and can be streamed straight from the cloud by
project members and the public.
The buoy can be accessed at palakeeriebuoy.com or by scanning the QR code above with your smart phone.
WRECK DIVERS PROVIDE FISH HABITAT INFO
Members of the Pennsylvania Archeological Shipwreck Survey Team (PASST) from the Regional Science Consortium (RSC) went on a survey mission to the shipwreck Philip D Armour.
The wreck is located in 31 feet of water just west of Presque Isle. Members of the team documented the following observations at the wreck site on June 3, 2017:
Visibility: Low 10-20 ft
The Philip D. Armour was a 264 ft wooden vessel that was built in 1889. It sank in a storm on Nov 13, 1915. There was no loss of life.
The dive team will be sending us reports listing the observations regarding fish habitat and water conditions. Hopefully the reports will give us insight into conditions below the surface.
FISHING CLINIC GRADUATE DOES GOOD
Nine year old Max Cohen is showing off the three foot Mahi Mahi that he caught off of Florida recently. Max participated in one of our summer fishing clinics.
VOLUNTEERS’ PICNIC will be held at Shade’s Beach on Monday August 7th from 5-?. All of our volunteers who have volunteered at least three times will be invited to attend. A list of invitees will be published in the July Edition of the Bucket.
Tues June 27th
10-1 Cabin #3 PISP Millcreek Summer Rec. Program Volunteers needed
Three Walker electric downriggers two long arm and one short arm and 3
raised swivel mounting bases, downrigger balls and releases asking $1000
call Bob at814-397-8873