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


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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


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. 

September 2019 Bucket

Next Meeting Monday September 30th at the Polish Falcons Club 431 East 3rd St at 7:30 PM – Note  this is one week later due to other activity at the club..

Fishing Report: Walleye fishing continues to be very good. Perch are being caught off the point to Shade’s Beach in 40 to 50 feet of water.


On Wednesday August 28th SONS of Lake Erie Volunteers met the “At the Lake Ministries” specially equipped boat the Jo-Ann M.at the ferry boat landing on Liberty Pier. Two van loads of military veterans from the Erie VA Hospital and the Soldiers and Sailors home arrived for a outing on the Jo-Ann M sponsored by the SONS. Sixteen vets and their support staff along with SONS Volunteers who were also veterans boarded the vessel after a safety briefing and short prayer led by the boat’s captain Rev. Rob Wilson. The boarding which included 9 wheel chair patients went quite smoothly with the assistance of Captain Dan Wilson, SONS volunteers and staff from the agencies. The Jo-Ann M motored out onto Presque Isle Bay where the vets were treated to a fishing experience. After the outing they were treated to a picnic lunch that was prepared by SONS volunteers.


Top Left “At the Lake Ministries” converted fishing boat the Jo-Ann M, Top Right Captain Rob Wilson loading a vet onto the vessel. Bottom Left- wheel chair bound vets on board and ready to go. Bottom right-The vets enjoying a picnic after the trip on a beautiful day.


We received the following E-mail from PFBC Biologist –Captain Mark Hafley:

Good afternoon everyone.  We finally got the data from the first full year of our Walleye swimming around Lake Erie.  And so far the results are pretty interesting.  We are still processing the data and working on all of the animations and visualizations to display their movements and all of that will be coming in the next few weeks.  A couple interesting highlights from the data so far:…

Fish 21-The first fish tagged this year, Apr.23, 2019, was a 26 inch male.  Once he left our spawning area he staged out in front of Walnut in 30ish foot of water until June 2.  Eight days later he was picked up on the Spawning Shoal receiver off of Dunkirk.  That is 56 miles in 8 days.  He was picked up by the receiver off shore in the Eastern Basin at 9:34 am on the morning he was caught.

Fish 5- Tagged last year out of Walnut Creek.  Spent most of the year in the Eastern Basin, returned to the receiver just off of Walnut for the spawning period this year and then back over to the Eastern Basin grid.  On July 10, 2019 he was picked up on the Eastern Basin grid and then 4 days later he was caught in Presque Isle Bay between the parking lot for Perry’s Landing and the Condos.

Fish 1-This was the lone female tagged last year, 2018.  She showed up the most on the receivers.  She spent all summer in that 30 foot water off of Walnut Creek until the Fall when she came near shore on the East side into the Lake Trout receivers.  On December 2 she made the run from the East Basin Perimeter grid back to Walnut where she stayed until April 2 when I assume she went near shore to the spawning shoal where she stayed until she returned to that deeper water on May 31st.  Even during the entire month of July and most of August she was picked up on the shallowest receivers in the Central Basin Grid off of Walnut Creek.

We have not pulled our receiver that was placed on the spawning reef yet but that should fill in the gap to see just what fish returned to spawn off of Walnut Creek in April and May of 2019.

So we are beginning the campaign to fund the last year of this tagging study in 2020.  This email is a feeler to see if there is any interest in donating one last time to this Walleye Spawning study.  We have tagged 41 fish so far with, hopefully, another 23 tags going in this year.  (20 new tags and the 3 that have been returned this year from harvested fish.  We have had 4 caught but one person didn’t know there was an internal tag and it go thrown away with the carcass.)  We would appreciate any and all donations that can be made towards completing this study.

In Summary-So far 41 fish have been tagged Of those 41 we have detections from all except 2 from this year.  The receivers were pulled in mid June so there is a possibility we could still pick them up on detections this fall.  Of those 41 fish we have received 60,016 hits from our fish on the Lake wide receiver array.  We have had 5 caught so far, 4 that were tagged in 2018 and 1 from 2019.

I appreciate all of your help that has gotten us to this point and know that with out all of you none of this would have been possible.

I thank you for your support and continued support for the amazing opportunity for this incredible research.  

Mark Haffley, Biologist 


On Wednesday September 4th 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.



For many years the Erie Fire Department has had a water rescue boat on its wish list. That wish recently came true with the donation of a 27 foot Pro Line boat for water rescue was donated to the EFD by the Glade Volunteer Fire Dept. in Warren County. The 2005 vessel will be assigned to the EFD water rescue team.  It came equipped with siren and emergency lights. There are plans to install a pump system for fire suppression on our waterfront.


Newly acquired Water Rescue Boat photo from Goerie.com


Posted Sep 5, 2019 by  Mark Torregrossa | mtorregr@mlive.com

It’s waterspout time on the Great Lakes; Here’s why

Late August and early September are favorable times for waterspouts on the Great Lakes. The weather conditions are perfect at times for these swirling visual wonders.

The International Centre for Waterspout Research reports 16 waterspouts on the Great Lakes in the last week.

Waterspouts form when a “convergence zone” moves over a Great Lake at the same time cooler air aloft is moving in.

To put that in English, when a cold front crosses one of the Great Lakes and brings much cooler weather. The waterspouts usually form on the first fall-like days. The cold air aloft moves over the relatively warm water. The warm air near the surface is light and rises higher in the atmosphere. The cold air aloft does the opposite and sinks toward the ground. At the same time, a cold front brings with it a wind shift usually from southwest to northwest. Along that line where the air swings in direction to the northwest, spinning of the air occurs.

All of this put together means a waterspout forms..

So keep your eyes open on the Great Lakes in the next couple of weeks. If you know a weather change to much cooler temperatures is expected, watch the clouds over the Great Lakes water.

Waterspouts are dangerous to boats on the water. The swirling winds could gust up to 70 mph right in the waterspout. That is a strong enough wind to flip over a boat.

On land, waterspouts are generally just a neat weather phenomena to watch. Waterspouts generally dissipate before coming on shore, or just as they come on shore.

Keep your eyes open for fall’s lake effect phenomenon, a waterspout. The next lake effect feature you’ll see is snow


Photo of a double waterspout I photographed in August of 2015

The walleye-perch contest closed on Labor Day. The results will be announced in our October issue of the “Bucket”


During our fishing event on August 29th with some Senior Citizens from LECOM facilities Mr. David Nowak (L) and his wife Diane (R) came onto the fishing platform at Waterworks Pond with their grandkids Jack and Tessa Bartlet. We have an unwritten rule that says that any kid who happens onto one of our fishing events they are invited to join in on the fishing fun. The kids joined in and caught a couple fish. Dave is a SONS member.

Upcoming Events:

Wed. October 9th 9 until done West Boat Launch (Marina) Presque Isle State Park. Fish Habitat building with the habitat team from the PFBC. Volunteers needed


Boat: 16 ft Bass boat w/ 40 hp Merc & trolling motor and fish finder Call Dan 814-881-8567

Canoe: 14 ft fiberglass excellent condition includes 2 paddles asking $150callGary at 814-602-8060

on Crooked Creek in North Springfield, PA Call David at 814-882-2927. More information and photos can be seen on line at

Dock Grip: Attaches to boat dock to aid getting on and off your boat. See web site at dockgrip.com. Used 2 years. Asking $100.00. Please call 814-833-4581 for details.

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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