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.
July 2018 Bucket
NO MEETINGS UNTIL SEPTEMBER. HAVE A FUN AND SAFE SUMMER!
FISHING REPORT: Walleye fishing has been good and getting better as the annual migration of walleye from the Western Basin of Lake Erie is in progress. Perch fishing has been slow but appears to be improving in the Lake. Pier fishermen are also still catching a few perch and walleye.
VOLUNTEERS’ PICNIC SET FOR AUGUST 6th
Since July 2017 our super team of volunteers has generously donated their time and hard work on at least 55 different occasions. 163 different individuals volunteered at least once during that 12 month period working over 4800 hours at family fishing events, hatchery operations, shows, habitat building, kids’ events and more. Our member volunteers are the greatest bunch of people that I have had the privilege to work with. I am so proud of what we have accomplished thanks to them and the rest of our membership. As an expression of our gratitude we would like to invite those individuals listed below to attend our Volunteers’ Picnic on Monday, August 6th starting at 5:00 PM at Shade’s Beach in Harborcreek Township. The list below contains the names of those volunteers who have participated at least 3 times since last July. There are some special guests included on the list who have gone out of their way to help our club..
VOLUNTEERS’ PICNIC GUEST LIST
IF YOU VOLUNTEERED AT LEAST THREE TIMES SINCE LAST JULY AND YOUR NAME WAS LEFT OFF OF THE LIST CALL 814-453-2270. IF YOU CANNOT ATTEND THE PICNIC PLEASE CALL 814-453-2270 NO LATER THAN AUGUST 2
GREAT LAKES LEVEL REPORT
CLEVELAND, Ohio - It's not your imagination; Lake Erie water levels are up. By Kelly Reardon, cleveland.com email@example.com
The recent wet spell pushed Lake Erie's water levels this week to 22 inches above the long-term normal for May. But the water is still 4 inches shy of the highest monthly average of the record for May, which is how the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers keeps tabs on water levels.
Water levels are measured, and forecast, weekly for the Great Lakes. However, water level comparisons and official records are calculated monthly. For May 11, the last weekly update, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predicted Lake Erie to reach 573.69 inches. That's right around the level this time last year, but is still short of the May record set in 1986.
Lake Ontario is 9 inches above the historical May average, while Lake Michigan-Huron is 17 inches and Lake Superior, 6 inches.
Great Lakes water level update, May 11, 2018. Data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The Army Corps of Engineers says the Great Lakes water levels are "all above their long-term average May levels." Lake Superior is 1 inch lower than it was at this time last year, but Lake Michigan-Huron is 6 inches above the level last year. Along with Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair is at the same level it was this time in 2017.
The historically high water levels are in part due in part to the region's wet April. Cleveland saw 4.38 inches of rain that month, over 20 percent more than normal. Since May 1, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport has already seen seven days of rain accumulating a total over 2 inches. But temperature plays a part too, as when water warms it expands, raising the water line.
Over the past week, said the Army Corps, "temperatures were generally just above normal across the Great Lakes basin."
The Corps says Lake Erie is expected to remain at its current level over the next month, but Lake Superior, Lake Michigan-Huron, Lake St. Clair and Lake Ontario could rise 4, 3, 2 and 1 inches, respectively, over the next month
DID THE EPSFA TOURNEY PREDICT WALLEYE SEASON?
The 2018 Erie, PA Sport Fishing Association “Walleye Challenge” was held on Saturday June 23rd. The one day event was wrapped up at 2:00 PM with a weigh in that was held at FISH USA. All entries had to be in no later than 3:00 PM. There were 20 teams that completed the tournament. Each team could enter up to 9 walleye where their total weight was recorded. The largest walleye from each time was noted and there was a special prize for the largest fish. There were 144 walleye turned in that weighed a total of 532.9 pounds. This is an average weight of 3.7 pounds per fish. Team Rock Bottom entered nine walleye weighing 68.4 pounds and took first place and was rewarded with a check for $1,466.00. The largest walleye was caught by Team Relentless. It weighed 9.2 pounds. Many of the tournament participants donated their catches to the SONS for their upcoming fish fries such as at the Emmaus Soup Kitchen and our public outreach event.
The EPSFA’s second walleye tournament
“SUMMER SLAM” will be held on Saturday August 11th and Sunday August 12th,
2018 Weigh-ins will be held at Fish USA, 6960 West Ridge Road Fairview, PA
16415 beginning at 2:00 pm. 90% of all entry fees will be paid back in
After seeing the walleye caught during the tournament and the catches off of the charter boats at Lampe Marina it seems that the forecast for a great walleye season are coming true. The fish are not huge but are of the 19-21 inch range, the good eating size.
Team Relentless poses with their 9.2 pound first place walleye
MICHIGAN vs CORMORANTS
The following article recently appeared in the Mining Journal from Marquette, MI. on April 23rd. Other states such as Ohio and Michigan have requested and received permits to reduce the number of cormorants by culling. Why not Pennsylvania?
LANSING — Culling season is coming quickly for a controversial Great Lakes waterfowl after it received a one-year reprieve.
Control of the double-crested cormorant will return this spring when the bird returns from wintering along the Pacific, Atlantic or Gulf coasts, according to federal authorities.
Almost all culling was suspended last year after a federal judge ruled in May 2016 that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had failed to adequately assess its impact. With that study complete, the agency can again issue permits to kill cormorants to protect property, habitat, airports, fish hatcheries and other birds.
“We’re trying to balance maintaining a stable cormorant population with managing them in the place where they’re causing damage,” said Tom Cooper, a program chief for the agency’s Migratory Bird Program.
The agency will issue permits to kill up to 18,270 cormorants this year in eight Midwestern states.
Permit applicants must submit photos of cormorant damage, how many cormorants they wish to kill and how they plan to do it, Cooper said.
Cormorants moved into Michigan from neighboring states in the early 1970s, according to a Michigan Department of National Resources report. By the turn of the century, there were 30,000 nesting pairs in the state.
Once threatened by chemical contamination, the birds have returned in dramatic numbers.
There were only 125 nesting pairs of Great Lakes cormorants in 1972. Today, there are 40,000 pairs, and they’re causing a big problem on many islands where colonies have degraded many habitats, forcing other animals to move on.
Anglers know them as the bird whose numbers blew up in the 1980s after tapping into a nearly bottomless supply of the invasive alewife. They’re incredible divers and can eat one-fourth of their weight in fish each day.
And they’re public enemy No. 1 for many perch anglers, although how many perch they eat is hotly debated, Cooper said.
Many know them by a distinct calling card — acidic feces that damages cars and buildings. They also destroy vegetation, stripping trees of leaves for their nests and poisoning the ground with their guano.
There were close to 10,000 cormorant pairs on West Sister Island in Lake Erie before culling started in 2006, said Jason Lewis, the manager of the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge in Ohio. The island’s colony has since been cut to 4,000 pairs.
Other nesting species on the island were struggling as the number of cormorants continued to grow, Lewis said. And West Sister Island is the only habitat of its kind in the western basin of Lake Erie.
Editor’s note: Steven Maier writes for Great Lakes Echo.
ANOTHER NICE WALLEYE
Bill Brown Jr. submitted this photo of the 31inch walleye that he caught while fishing with his Dad on June 18th. Send us your fish photos and we’ll publish them in the Bucket.
HOW MUCH DOES YOUR FISH WEIGH?
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat commission has come up with charts that indicate what the average weight of fish is at each length. You can use the chart to estimate the weight of your fish after you measure it. Below is a section of Chart 1. This information was compiled from statewide lists of surveyed waterways, so predicted weights are statewide averages. All weights are estimates in pounds. Cut out or photocopy this page and stash it in your tackle box or fishing vest! For more lengths and weights, plus ages, visit the fish species pages on their website,
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