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. 

June 2018 Bucket


FISHING REPORT: The season is warming up.

As a follow up to the story we featured in our May 2018 issue of the “Bucket” regarding the Walleye Telemetry Project to study migration habits of our local walleye population, local angler, Mark Mc Mahon, caught one of the recently tagged walleye that was fitted with a telemetry transmitter off of Crooked Creek more than 12 miles away from where the fish was tagged and released on April 23rd. This was the first tagged fish turned in. Mark received his $100.00 reward.


Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection scientists Nate Irwin, Kaitlin Knopsnider, and Jim Grazio caught a huge grass pike while electrofishing in Sara’s Cove at the Head of the Bay on May 30th. The fish was 51 inches long and weighed 69 pounds. Another Grass Carp was turned in at Poor Richards that was shot by a bow fisher.  That fish was shot in Presque Isle Bay on May 26th and weighed 47 pounds.  Both fish will be examined by the US Geological Service to determine if they are sterile (triploid) and attempt to determine their origin using otolith microchemistry.

Grass carp are a non-native species that are introduced into ponds to control vegetation but only by permit. The fish must be sterilized and not able to reproduce, however many people throw them into the Lake.


51 inch 69 pound grass carp               DEP Photo


The cormorant population on Lake Erie Has grown in our area in over the last few years. As a duck hunter in the 60’s and 70’s I can never remember seeing the bird around at all. Now a population center of the bird has been established on the old Hammermill intake crib in the Lake and along the break walls at Lampe Marina wall. There are a couple of trees on the wall on which they roost. The trees are covered with their waste and the trees are dead. Take this and multiply this mess by thousands of times in the Western basin where there have been numerous articles written describing this devastation generated by them in the islands of Lake Erie. Other articles described the cormorants voracious appetite for fish. Below is a photo that has been circulating on Face Book. Its origin and authenticity has not been verified however from other sources that I have questioned these photos may be accurate. The photos depict the stomach contents of a cormorant that contain mostly perch. I wonder how many perch per day are being taken by the cormorants. The bird is a protected species and may not be hunted.



A new exhibit has opened at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center called- “Plastic Pollution Solution: One Small Change” - - It is free and open to the public daily from June 1 to October 31 10 am to 6 pm on the second floor of the TREC.

Plastic pollution in our waters has many bad effects on humans, wildlife and the environment. It illuminates this issue and its local implications. A free film sponsored by the S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie “Plastic Ocean” will be shown on July 20 at 7 pm.


Recently, David Nichols and Holly Sandberg were canoeing on Lake Pleasant when Mike caught  and released this beautiful 39” northern pike on 8 pound test line . Holly and David just graduated from Seneca High School.   zThe photo was submitted by EWPPA’s Executive Director, Brenda Sandberg, Holly’s mom.


According to Chuck Murray, Senior Biologist of PFBC’s Lake Erie Unit who spoke at our

May22nd  General Membership meeting walleye fishing should be very good in 2018, and in the

years to come. There was a 23% decrease in abundance from 2017 but there will be mixed sizes in

2018 – lots of age-3 (56%) age-4 (16%) walleye. There will be a lot less throw backs of

under size fish. There are still walleye of the 2003 Year Class that will still provide trophy size fish

The Lake Erie East basin Walleye abundance is at record levels


Yellow Perch fishing should remain about the same in 2018, but will still remain below average.

There was average reproduction in 2016 and 2017. Age 2 and age-3 perch will represent about
66% of the population in 2018. 2012 and 2014 year classes should provide quality size perch,

(Greater than10”), but there will still be lots of small perch.

Steelhead fishing has improved steadily over the last 5 years

Brown Trout fishing should improve with added yearlings by PFBC

Lake Trout continue to provide a unique experience for trophy fish

Forage fish like emerald shiners and rainbow smelt populations are down but they are cyclical and usually rebound.


Ray Yurcak (L), Buddy Yurcak(M) (Ray’s son) whose birthdays are on the same day shared a birthday cake with SONS Treasurer Terry Pfeffer (R) at our May meeting. See picture below taken by Chuck Miller. The cake was inscribed Happy Birthday Ray, Buddy and Terry.
“Remember Old Fishermen never die they just smell that way”


In May of 2014 the Regional Science Consortium received grants to purchase, deploy and operate a weather buoy on Lake Erie. Funding for the buoy came from a grant from the Great Lakes Observing Systems (GLOS) for the Weather, Water, & Wave Buoy System.  The buoy  collects the following data:

Weather - Air Temperature, Wind Speed, Max. Wind Speed, Relative Humidity, Barometric Pressure, Daily Rain, Rain Duration, Rain Intensity, and Solar Radiation

Water - Water Temperature, Specific Conductivity, pH, Turbidity, and Dissolved Oxygen

Wave - Wave Height, Wave Period, and Wave Direction

It  also has a video camera.                  

Another buoy has been deployed off of Walnut Creek with the same features however the camera is out of service and needs to be replaced.  

If you want to know Lake conditions before you go out on your boat, you can view data from the buoy at:

Observing System (http://glos.us/data-access/boaters-forecast)

National Buoy Data Center (http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/)
National Weather Service Radio        Website     http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/zone/gtlakes/clemz.htm

It’s a great system and a great asset for the boater and fisherman but the program is in jeopardy. The costs for maintaining and deploying the buoys are between $12,000 and $15,000 per year. The program has been financed by sponsorships and initial grants. The grants have run out and some of the sponsors have been the SONS of Lake Erie, Erie Pennsylvania Sport Fishing Association, Erie Yacht Club, Pete Alex, Gannon University, Fish USA, Erie Pennsylvania Charter Boat Association, Erie Community Foundation, Lake Shore Towing, Pittsburgh Down Riggers and others.  

Deployment was late this year in order to make needed repairs and battery replacements using up the last of the funds. If you would like to help out to ensure buoy deployment next year, you can do so by going to the web page at: http://www.regsciconsort.com/research/current-projects/nearshore-buoy-system/ and clicking on “Donate” or mail your contribution to RSC,

 301 Peninsula Drive, Erie, PA 16505-2042 



Above is a copy of a card with the QR code (A QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) code is a machine-readable code consisting of an array of black and white squares, typically used for storing URLs or other information for reading by the camera on a smartphone. It can be used to directly access the data from the weather buoy which is located off of Presque Isle state Park in Lake Erie and the other off Walnut Creek. By scanning the array of squares with a smart phone you can access the buoy.  

Fri June 22nd
9:30-12  Waterworks Pond PISP Kids from Shriner’s Hospital Fishing Outing Vol. needed
Fri June 29th 9:30-12 Waterworks Pond PISP kids from Housing Authority Fishing Vol. Needed
Mon July2nd 11:30-2 Waterworks Pond PISP Edinboro YMCA Day Camp Volunteers needed
Tues July 10th 9:30-1 Cabin # 3 PISP Millcreek Summer Rec Day2 Kid’s Fishing Vol. Needed
Fri July 20th 10:30-12:10 Liberty Pier Neighborhood Art house Volunteers needed
Tues July 24th 9:30-1 Cabin # 3 PISP Millcreek Summer Rec Day3 Kid’s Fishing Vol. needed
Sat July 28th  9-1 Waterworks Pond Discover Presque Isle Family Fishing Volunteers needed
Tues. July 31st 10-1 Waterworks Pond Waterford YMCA Kids Volunteers Needed
Wed Aug 8th 2:30-4 Liberty Pier John Horan Apartments    Volunteers needed
Mon Aug 13th  1-3 Waterworks Pond St. George’s Summer Rec Program

Save the date- The annual volunteers’ picnic will be held at 5 PM on August 6th at Shade’s Beach for those volunteers who have given their time for 3 or more events since July 2017. A list of those volunteers who are eligible to attend will be posted in the July issue of the Bucket.


Boat: 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, Asking $8,500.00 Call Dennis at 814-450-0190 Can be seen at Lampe Marina.

Outboard Motor: 6 hp Johnson asking $475 Call Ron at 814-455-8343 or cell 814-431-5711

16 foot inboard or outboard Call 724-504-7561

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.

PDF Version January 2018 Bucket

PDF Version February 2018 Bucket

PDF Version March 2018 Bucket

PDF Version April 2018 Bucket

PDF Version May 2018 Bucket

PDF Version June 2018 Bucket


PDF Version January 2017 Bucket

PDF Version February 2017 Bucket

PDF Version March 2017 Bucket

PDF Version April 2017 Bucket

PDF Version May 2017 Bucket

PDF Version June 2017 Bucket

PDF Version July 2017 Bucket

PDF Version August 2017 Bucket

PDF Version September 2017 Bucket

PDF Version October 2017 Bucket

PDF Version November 2017 Bucket

PDF Version December 2017 Bucket