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. 

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.


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.

5'9" sturgeon caught in trap nets of the commercial fishing boat “ Real Glory” on May 21, 2017


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.


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:

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 :

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. 



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. 


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 SONS of Lake Erie have been an advocate and sponsor of the weather buoy since its first day of operation. Other sponsors include the GLOS  (Great Lakes Observing System), Boat US, Fish USA, Lake Shore Towing, Alex Roofing Inc, Erie Pennsylvania Sportfishing  Assoc. Gannon University, The Erie Community Foundation, Pittsburgh Downriggers club, Erie Yacht Club foundation and theErie PA Charter Boat Assoc.

The buoy can be accessed at or by scanning the QR code above with your smart phone.


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
Temp 61 degrees through dive column
Bottom: Sand small stones and dead zebra mussels
Fish observed 20 to25 ft =10-15 smallmouth bass, crappie too many to count, 2 sheephead, 2 small walleye at 31 ft, 1 catfish at 25ft
There was no fishing gear tangled on the wreck.

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.



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
Thurs June 29th  2:30-4 Liberty Pier Kids from John Horan Apartments Volunteers needed
Fri July 7th 10-1 Cabin #3 PISP Millcreek Summer Rec. Program Volunteers needed
Mon July 10th  10:30-12        Liberty Pier Neighborhood Art House Volunteers needed
Wed July 12th 9:30-1 Waterworks Pond PISP Mt. Carmel Summer Day Camp Vol needed
Wed July 26th 10-1 Cabin #3 PISP Millcreek Summer Rec. Program Volunteers needed
Sat July 29th 9-12 PISP Waterworks Pond Discover Presque Isle Family Fishing Vol. needed
Tues August 1 4-? Liberty Pier 8 great Tuesdays Volunteers Needed
Fri Aug 4th 10-1 Cabin #3 PISP Millcreek Summer Rec. Program Volunteers needed
Mon. Aug 7th 5-? Volunteers’ picnic at Shade’s Beach
Mon Aug 14th 11:30-1 PISP Waterworks Pond Elk Valley YMCA Kids Volunteers needed
Sat. Aug 26th 8 AM Gem City Outdoorsmen’s Club Youth Field Days Volunteers needed


Downriggers: 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
Anchors: 12 pound slip ring new $40, 4 pound with 100 ft of rope used $25, and 16 pound Danforth used $25 call Bob at 814-397-8873
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 $10,000.00 Call Dennis at 814-450-0190 Can be seen at Lampe Marina.
Boat: 2001 Alumicraft16’6” 40 hp Honda 4 stroke 4 cyl, motor, power tilt,  Load Rite trailer, fish finder, hand held marine radio, life jackets, battery gauge, 4 pedestal seats, live well asking $5000.00 firm call Bill at 864-7104 or 814-440-0706
Boat: 12 ft Crestliner Aluminum Boat asking $450.00 call Tom at 814-864-1886 after 3PM
Ice Hut: Amish built, one man, on skis 3”X4’10” opened call Tom at 814-864-1886 after 3 PM

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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