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, Jack Bock,  members Bob Zawadzki, Joe Springer, Don Tombaugh, Jack Bock, Ron Morrow, John Krupinski  and Rich Smith started readying the hatchery for the 2021 arrival of our allotment of brown trout fry from the PA Fish Commission through the Co- Operative Nursery program.

In preparation there were some maintenance issues that required attention including the cleaning out the intake pipe whish is located in a boat slip west of the hatchery as well as some electrical issues and pump adjustments. Also there was some erosion damage to the sidewalk leading to our intake pipes putting them at risk to damage by a loose piece of concrete. Thanks to a crew from Erie Waterworks along with other SONS volunteers the huge chunk of broken concrete was removed and the path to our intake was re contoured for safe access.

Then on November 15, 2020 the PA Fish and Boat Commission truck from the Linesville Hatchery delivered 533 brown trout fry to our Chestnut St. Hatchery where they were met by our hatchery crew members and volunteers who placed them into our 5 rearing tanks.

Most of the fish averaged 6 inches long. They were brought to us for the seventh 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.

The arrival of the brown trout requires daily attention including the feeding, cleaning of the tanks as well as the monitoring of  the water temperature and flow. by our  hatchery crew and other volunteers.


Brown Trout Arrive November 15, 2021


Brown Trout Stocked March 22, 2022

After 4 months under the expert care of our hatchery staff and careful monitoring the nearly 600 nearly twelve  inch long brown trout were stocked directly into Presque Isle Bay by a team of 16 volunteers on a cold, cloudy and windy March 22nd. Some of the trout were held back and will be on display at the hatchery's open house tentatively scheduled for the end of April or the first weekend in May. It all depends on the arrival of the walleye egs. The tanks were cleaned in preparation of the for walleye eggs.

Walleye Eggs Arrival April 4, 2022

On April 4th our hatchery crew travelled to the PFBC Linesville Fish Culture station and picked up our allotment of walleye eggs. This year we were given 1.5 million eggs. They were brought to our hatchery facility where the oxygen filled bags were floated in one of our tanks until the water temperatures matched (see top left panel), they were then carefully placed into the hatching jars using a ladle where they will mature and start hatching (center photo). This process will begin in about 10 days and will continue for about another week. As the walleye “eyed wigglers” are hatched they are piped into the holding tanks where they will be kept for a few days and then they will be stocked into the bay.

Then the Walleye were born

After Our allotment of 1.5 million walleye eggs arrived they were placed into the hatching jars where they were carefully monitored, treated for fungus and feathered by our hatchery crew. After a few days eyes became visible in the eggs and after about 10 days the eggs started hatching and baby walleye could be seen swimming in the jars as seen in the lower left picture. The picture on the right below  is a 100X enlargement of the tiny walleye which are termed “eyed wigglers” referring to their two eyes and a wiggle. 

Eyes form in the eggs

Eggs begin to hatch


Walleye fry magnified 100X
The new born fry are then were piped into holding tanks just in time for the open house at our hatchery that occurred on April 23 and 24. This was the first open house we could offer in two years because of Covid restrictions place during that period.  This was also the first open house we have had since all of the improvements were completed to the facility.  Nearly 100 visitors came to our hatchery in order to see firsthand the extent of our investment and the hard work of ou hatchery committee. It was open to the public from 11-4 on both days. Below are a few photos from the open house.

Walleye Stocked Hatchery Shut Down

Following the hatchery open house our crew and volunteers gathered on April 26th in order to transfer the walleye fry from the hatchery holding tanks into the waters of Presque Isle Bay. In order to accomplish this, the tiny fish are gently siphoned from the tanks and transferred into 5 gallon buckets and moved to awaiting boats for distribution. The photos above, roughly illustrates the process. #1 shows the walleye fry being siphoned into buckets #2 and then the heavy buckets are carried to the Chestnut St. launch ramp adjacent to our hatchery. The buckets are taken from the truck #4 and carried to awaiting boats #5 and carried out into the bay #6. The boats were furnished by Paul Holtz and Big Guy. The brown trout that were held back for the open house were stocked in the same manner. The hatchery tanks were scrubbed out and the hatchery was shut down until next season.