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.
May 2017 Bucket
NEXT MEETING: Monday May 22, 7:30 PM at the Polish Falcons Club, 431 E. 3rd St. Note: This will be the last general meeting until September. Have a Fun and Safe Summer. Good Fishing!
Program: .PFBC Lake Erie Unit Chief Biologist, Chuck Murray will give the Lake Erie fishing forecast for the upcoming months.
Fishing Report: At this time the roller coaster weather patterns have produced spotty catch results. Prior to this perch fishing was pretty good. Walleye season started May 1.
JUDGE’S RULING UPHOLDS ZONING BOARD DECISION
Twenty-seven months, hours of preparation, hundreds of documents and photos, arguments, motions, filings, certifications, recordings, videos, testimony by us through our attorney, Dan Pastore appealing the Erie Zonings Hearing Board’s decision to approve the design of the public access walkway on the former GAF property built by the Erie Convention Center Authority came to an end when an Erie County Judge issued a ruling on April 13th, 2017. His ruling denied our appeal and the public access walkway will stay as it is even though we still feel that the design does not comply with Erie’s zoning ordinances and is unsafe,
We feel that our community as a whole lost something as a result of this whole process. We lost because our public trustee, the Convention Center Authority, deliberately decided to circumvent the spirit of the City of Erie’s Zoning Ordinance that dictates that a 12 foot wide public access walkway be provided along the water’s edge in all new development in the Waterfront Zone. They did so by using a loophole in the ordinance that the Judge found allows them to build the walkway without anyone reviewing the design, and without the need for a hearing before City Council, if they don’t build a building at the same time which would require a building permit. The Authority used this loophole to proceed building a walkway that does not comply with the ordinance. They indicated in the permit applications that were submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers and the PA Department of Environmental Protection that they would in fact build a safety rail along the whole length of the project and comply with all existing ordinances, then they changed the design without notice to the public.
The Judge as well as the local newspaper seems to believe that we were only looking to this area for fishing purposes only. That was not our intent. Fishermen will adapt to any conditions to pursue their sport. We took on the whole process because we feel that the Waterfront Zone Ordinance was put in place to safely provide public access for walking, jogging, biking, skating, and whatever else not just fishing for all including the handicapped throughout the zone with standard design that would provide for consistency along the water’s edge. We also believe the clear intent of the Ordinance was that any public walkway along the water’s edge was required to be presented at a public hearing and approved by City Council. We advocated for these requirements when the Ordinance was first adopted.
All of this could have been avoided had a public hearing been held to discuss the merit of the design of the public access walkway. The public, who the Convention Center represents, would have had their say. Who knows, maybe the public would have agreed with the design but now we will never know. The public deserves its say. Our waterfront is our greatest physical asset and our key to the future and needs to be protected and developed for the good of all our citizens. The Convention Center Authority should have followed the lead of the Erie Western Pennsylvania Port Authority which has been careful to consider the opinion of the public in all of their recent developments.
Erie City Council needs to revisit the language of the Waterfront Zone ordinance to close the loopholes and clearly define the wording to keep this from happening again.
We have chosen not to appeal the judge’s ruling to a higher court. It would be another costly and drawn-out process.
PFBC SETS 2017 CREEL LIMITS FOR LAKE ERIE PERCH & WALLEYE
HARRISBURG, Pa. (April 13) – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) today announced that the 2017 creel limit for Lake Erie yellow perch will remain at 30 per day and the creel limit for walleye will stay at six per day.
“The 2016 assessment showed that both yellow perch and walleye populations remain at maintenance levels,” said Chuck Murray, the PFBC’s Lake Erie biologist. “Based on this, the 2017 creel limits are being held at the 2016 limits.”
At its March 24 meeting, the Lake Erie Committee allotted to Pennsylvania a yellow perch total allowable catch (TAC) of 610,728 pounds, a 1% decrease from 2016, but 12% above the long-term average of 543,665 pounds. The 2017 level includes a yellow perch TAC for Under the regulation, the PFBC sets daily creel limits for these species by April 15 each year.
the commercial trap net fishery of 100,000 pounds.
Since 1996, the average harvest of yellow perch by Pennsylvania’s combined recreational (136,000 lbs.) and commercial fisheries (13,000 lbs.) has been 149,000 pounds.
Based on a 2017 abundance estimate of 55 million walleye age two or older, the walleye population has increased by about 81% from 2016 levels, but will be comprised mostly (63%) of age-2 fish.
“The 2015-year class should provide better walleye fishing in 2017 and beyond,” added Murray.
The PFBC adopted a regulation in 2012 which established adaptive creel limits for walleye and yellow perch based on the annual quotas established by the Lake Erie Committee, which consists of fisheries managers from Pa., Ohio, N.Y., Mich., and Ontario, Canada.
“Adaptive fishing regulations are based on the most recent fishery assessment results and are better aligned with the current status of the yellow perch and walleye stocks,” Murray added. “This regulatory flexibility gives fisheries managers the ability to change daily harvest limits prior to the onset of the summer boat fishing season on Lake Erie.”
WINNER CHOOSES ATV
L to R SONS VP Ed Kissell, Directors Bob Zawadzki, Bill
Henderson, Son in Law of the winner John Marczak, SONS Director Chuck Miller
and Mark Alex Proprietor of Alex Motor Sports pose with the Lucky winner,
Leon Krystek of Erie who is seated on the ATV which he has chosen for
winning the first prize in the 2017 Fin and Fur Raffle which was held at our
Ice Out Party on April 9th.
We owe a lot of local businesses and individuals a great portion of gratitude for their generous donations of prizes, gift certificates and more. Below is a list of these donors. We hope that you will consider supporting them as they supported us.
Alex Motor Sports, Lake Erie Custom Charters by Capt. Paul Greiner, Waterbok Charters- Capt. Steve Skrypzak, Edward John Perch Charters, Poor Richard’s Bait and Tackle, Janitor’s Supply Co., Church and Murdock Electric Co., Winschel Brothers Landscaping, Fish USA-Fish Erie, Lake Shore Towing, Hertel and Brown Physical and Aquatic Therapy, Alex Roofing and Perch Pirate Charters all who donated prizes for Fin and Fur Raffle.
The following donated more prizes- Hallman Chevrolet, Creative Imprints, Hallman Hyundai, Miller Brothers, Tires for Less, Erie Sport Store, Patty Leone, Potratz Flowers, Kraus Dept. Store, Chipper’s Tavern, Trost Steinforth Florist Shop, Erie Battery and Starter Service, Nickel Plate Mills, A Duchini Hardware, Alburn Florists, Auto Zone, Car Care II, Champion Ford, Edinboro Sports, Gerlach’s, Hoss’s Steak & Seafood House. Joe Root’s Restaurant, Syd’s Restaurant, Bay Rat Lures, New York Lunch/ Peninsula Dr,. O’Reilly Auto Parts, Patti’s Pizza (west 38th & W 26th St) Serafini’s Restaurant, Valerio’s Pizza, Pittsburgh Inn, Presque Isle Gun Shop, Smith’s Provision Co., West End Hardware, Mazza Winery, Penn Shore Winery, Jack Hartman, Bill Glass, Giant Eagle Market East, Jack Paluh, Dan Austin, Bonnie Dias, The Remnant Store and hopefully none that we missed. If you donated something and we failed to acknowledge here, please let us know by calling 814-453-2270. Thanks again for all of your support.
HATCHERY SEASON ENDS WITH OPEN HOUSE AND FISH STOCKING
After nearly six months, hundreds of man hours, several inspections and a setback the season is coming to a close at the SONS hatchery. It all started with the receipt of 600 brown trout in November. Our hatchery staff reared the six inch fish to a 10-12 inch size. This was the result of hours of feeding, water treatment and tank cleaning. We received our allotment of walleye eggs in April at the hatchery but then we had one setback this year when the temperature spiked to 84 degrees causing our hatchery water supply to go up quickly and killing about 400,000 eggs. We ended up stocking the remainder of the fish on Monday May 8th after we held an open house on Saturday and Sunday May 6th and 7th.
Our hatchery crew did an outstanding job not only by caring for the fish but doing some needed housekeeping, painting and minor repairs.
.Above top two photos were taken by Tom Pruzenski during our open house on Saturday May 6th. And the top two photos show Bob Zawadzki and Ralph Friend loading buckets of walleye fry and legal size brown trout onto a boat piloted by Rich “Big Guy” Tauber for stocking into the Bay.
LAKE ERIE IS 10-15 INCHES HIGHER THAN SAME TIME LAST YEAR
This photo was taken next to our hatchery at the foot of Chestnut Street in Erie on Monday May 8th, 2017. The pier running through the picture was underwater the day before.
NEITHER COLD NOR RAIN ETC.
For the last five years we have partnered with Harborcreek Township and the Wesleyville Conservation club to provide a trout fishing opportunity for kids at Whitford Park on Six Mile Creek on the first Saturday in May each year. The weather has been perfect every year until this year. It had rained over three inches for a 3 day period , Six mile creek was high , fast and dangerous so we moved the event to Harborcreek’s Municipal Park off of Clark Rd. The fish were stocked into a pond there and the kids braved the rain and even caught a few.
Above top kids and volunteers from the Wesleyville Conservation Club help unload buckets of trout into the pond at Harborcreek’s Municipal park and afterwards get a chance to catch a few.
SONS VOLUNTEERS LOVE TO COOK
On Saturday April 29th thirty seven SONS volunteers spent the morning preparing lunch for more than 300 men, women and children who over ran Presque Isle State Park in an effort to clean up the park. We have been co-sponsors of this event for about ten years.
BLAST FROM THE PAST
1950’s photo of fishing party boats lined up at the Public Dock. Boats shown are the Zephyr, Catch a Lot, G-4, U Ketch-M and the Nellie III. There were about 25 boats working out of the dock. For $2.50 you could take one of the boats onto the Lake and fish for blue pike . The Nellie III became the Little Toot and was bought by Gannon University and is now the research vessel, Environaut.
Wed May 24th
PISP Waterworks Pond McKean Elementary School Vol.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