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



On April 19th   a groundbreaking ceremony was held at the Liberty Pier on Presque Isle Bay to kick off the construction of the Liberty Pier Fishing Access Area. The ceremony was presided over by the President of the Erie Western Pennsylvania Port Authority President, Jeff Johnson. District One, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commissioner, Ed Mascharka addressed the crowd as well as Erieís Mayor Joe Sinnott, S.O.N.S. President Jerry Skrypzak and CZM Chairman Don Benczkowski also made a few remarks. The crowd consisted of Port Authority members and staff, County and State Officials, S.O.N.S. directors members and officers, as well many other interested parties.  

The speeches were followed by the ceremonial turning of shovel fulls of earth.  

This event marked the completion of over 25 years of effort by our Vice President, Ed Kissell. The idea of the fishing access opportunity grew out of waterfront development plans in the 1980ís when Ed was our President. The construction of a fishing pier was mandated in a deed restriction placed on the property when it was acquired by the developers at the time. The mandate was part of an acquisition agreement with the developer and the State of Pennsylvania, the property owner. Ed Kissell successfully persuaded our State Representative at that time, Italo Capabianca to include the building of a fishing pier and public park in the deed in order to mitigate the loss of State property to private interests.  

When the Port Authority acquired the property it complied with one restriction and built Liberty Park and the amphitheater. There however was never enough money to complete the fishing pier.  

Ed Kissell never gave up and continued efforts to make the fishing access area a reality. Two years ago we were able to create an interest with the PA Fish and Boat Commission and the Port Authority. The PFBC came through with the lionís portion of the funds for the construction, totaling $378,000.00. The PFBC grant came from our Lake Erie stamp fund.

Chivers Construction Co. of Erie was awarded the contract to build the access area. They began immediately after the ground breaking and they completed the project  by July 11th  except for some benches and tables that need to be added..

Scroll down to see photos of the ground breaking and construction

See Dedication Ceremony

Liberty Pier Fishing Access Ground Breaking April 19th, 2012

Jeff Johnson, President of the Erie Western Pennsylvania Port Authority Addresses the crowd gathered at the Liberty Pier

The completed Liberty Pier Fishing Access Area 

EWPPA President, Jeff Johnson turns over shovel full of ground breaking dirt Jerry Skrypzak & Ed Kissell take their turn at the shovel State Rep. Flo Fabrizio, EWPPA Pres.Jeff Johnson, EWPPA Dir. Ed Mead, PFBC Commissioner, Ed Mascharka
Ed Kissell and S.O.N.S. members
S.O.N.S. members, EWPPA staff and others gathered to watch the ceremony L to R CZM Rep Don Benczkowski, PFBC Com. Ed Mascharka. Mayor Joe Sinnott, EWPPA Dir. Dan Harmon. EWPPA Pres. Jrff Johnson, EWPPA Dir. Ed Mead, EWPPA Dir. Dave DiCarlo, Erie County Exec Asst. Jerry Mifsud, and S.O.N.S. Pres Jerry Skrypzak
Construction Photos

Heavy equipment lined up and ready to go to work

Rods are anchored to concrete to hold sheet piling

The sheet piling is then backfilled

Sheet piles are driven into the bay floor by a hydraulic ram

Heavy equipment move materials around site

Ashley Porter, project engineer inspects project


Weeks later the sheet piling is nearly done

The steel caps are added

Stair access was built in to facilitate entry to bay ice for ice fishing etc.

Concrete being poured

Chiver's workers installingsafety rail

Nearly complete


Jack Klapthor, Jerry Skrypzak and Ed Kissell on site on July 9th, 2012

Eight Great Tuesday fans line up for show at Liberty pier