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  

John Krupinski

Mail: PO Box 3605
Erie, Pennsylvania 16508

Phone/Fax: 814-453-2270



Our hatchery committee composed of Chairman Bob Zawadzki,  members Joe Springer, Don Tombaugh, Jack Bock and Rich Smith along with other SONS volunteers worked feverishly for the last several months reorganizing, upgrading and refurbishing the SONS fish hatchery located at the foot of Chestnut St. in Erie. This work included improvements to our electrical system and physical plant that were made possible by a grant from the Friends of Fish Foundation. Our crew spent a lot of time freshening up the paint, building net covers for our holding tanks to prevent fish from jumping out,  installing new aerators, adding a newer refrigerator for the convenience of the crew and simply updating the 33 year old facility.

On Thursday November 15th a truck and driver from PFBCs Corry Hatchery brought 575 Brown trout to the S.O.N.S. hatchery at the foot of Chestnut St. Most of the fish averaged 6 inches long. They were brought to us for the fifth consecutive year for rearing in our facility. Hopefully by being allowed to grow in our hatchery they will become imprinted with Presque Isle Bay waters and will return to the Bay to spawn. Hope they like their new temporary home.


Click here for a history of Erie's early hatchery operations

Brown Trout Arrive November 15th, 2018

The arrival of the brown trout triggered a five month project that involved the daily feeding of the fish, cleaning the tanks weekly, monitoring water quality and temperatures. The process also included testing of the fish by Fish and Boat Commission biologists. The fish passed the tests and in order to prepare the coming of the hatchery's allotment the walleye eggs it was necessary to stock the trout which had grown to about 8-9 inches long. The brown trout were stocked into Presque Isle Bay on April 5th, 2019.

Brown Trout Stocking April 5th, 2019

Walleye Eggs Arrive April 11th, 2019

On Thursday April 11, 2019, Hatchery Manager Bob Zawadzki, Don Tombaugh and Joe Springer traveled to the PA Fish & Boat Commission hatchery facility at Linesville,Pa where they picked up nearly 10 quarts of fertilized walleye eggs and transported them to the SONS hatchery in Erie

The Linesville hatchery Originally was constructed in 1939 on 97 developed acres (2,500 total acres) of land owned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and managed by the Fish and Boat Commission.
The facility consists of earthen ponds, exterior concrete raceways, a hatchery building that contains interior stainless steel and concrete raceways, and jar and vertical flow through tray egg incubators.
Water is supplied from Pymatuning Reservoir and production wells. As soon as the ice is off of the reservoir the PFBC capture walleye, take their eggs and spawn and place them back into the lake.

The walleye eggs are packed in an oxygen charged bag

The hatching jars are prepared for the eggs

The plastic bags containing the walleye eggs are placed into our hatchery tanks so that the water in the bag matches the system water temp. Afterward the eggs are carefully placed in hatching jars where they are left to mature. The event receives TV news coverage.
Within days of the walleye egg's arrival at the hatchery, the eggs start to darken as the they mature. After about 10 days eyes  become visible in the eggs and two weeks later the walleye eggs begin to hatch producing a walleye larva called an "Eyed Wiggler". The larva hatch with an egg sack that provides nourishment to the tiny fish that sustains them for a few days. Then they must be stocked.
Customarily the SONS hatchery is made open to the public. This year the open house was held on May 4th & 5th. More that 1560visitors came to see the operation

Hatchery Open House May 4 & 5, 2018

Walleye Stocking May 6th, 2018

Hatchery Gets New Signage

When the Erie Sports Store were closing down after 67 years Rich Weber called and said he had something he wanted to give us. It turned out to be a 4 ft fiberglass and foam sculpture of a yellow perch created by Erie artist, Jerry Thompson. Jerry first made the piece about 30 years ago for Dick May who had it on display at Mays Tavern on East Lake Rd. When Dick retired he gave it to the Erie Sport Store who had in on display at the downtown location, then moved it to the upper Peach store where it was on display until it closed. The artist, Jerry Thompson, restored it and our hatchery crew mounted it outside the building along with a new composite sign that was furnished by the PFBC.

Commercial Fishermen Furnish Perch Eggs to SONS Hatchery

In the past the commercial fisherman would take the spawn and eggs from fish in the spring and turn them over to the PA Fish Commission's hatchery for processing. Reminiscent to those events, this year one of Eries commercial fishermen, Jim Shaeffer gave us about 4 quarts of fertilized yellow perch eggs for us to hatch out. Shown below are some photos taken that day and photos of the fertil;ized perch eggs in the SONS Hatchery

Early postcard depicting Erie's Fishing Industry

Captain Jim Schaeffer and his crew

The trapnet boat "Dixie"

Perch eggs being tempered  Fertilized perch eggs in jars Perch swimming amongst newly produced eggs