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


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. 



September 2023 Bucket

Next meeting Monday September 25, 2023 at 7:00 PM  at the Polish Falcons Club 341 East 3rd St.


FISHING REPORT: There have been some reports of perch being caught and lots of success catching walleye still being reported. Shown below is an an example of the nice catch of 15 yellow perch that SONS Seceretary Don Tombaugh caught in the first week of September.



For over 40 years now the SONS of Lake Erie has held a fish fry for all of our partners. Our partners list includes our local, state and federal legislators, public officials, members of entities, agencies and commissions such as the DEP, DCNR, CZM, PFBC, EWPPA, PA Sea Grant, Regional Science Consortium etc. all who which we have worked with us throughout the years to promote public accessibility, protect our fishery and promote the  interests of the fishing community and our club members.

This year the fish fry was held on Wednesday September 6, 2023 at the picnic facility located at the Bay Harbor East Marina. The facility is one of the finest on our bay front but in spite of this, the event requires quite a bit of logistical effort and pre planning. We set up tents, bring in extra tables, chairs, cooking tools, coolers,  deep fryers, pans, bowls, paper plates, utensils, ice, table cloth and more. Most of the above was brought in the day before ready to set up and organize.

Over thirty SONS volunteers joined in to help set up starting at 8:30 AM. The group split into teams each led by one or more of our dedicated directors who set up the tents, covered the tables, set up the frying station, the sign in tables serving tables and the kitchen. A group of about 10 volunteers brought in cutting boards and filet knives to trim the over 100 pounds of walleye fillets. They carefully inspected each removing bones and less desirable portions of the fillet and then cut them into sandwich size pieces. This process took nearly two hours.

Bob Zawadzki who has planned these fish fry’s for over forty year arrived with the trays of salads, coleslaw and beans at 10:45. The kitchen crew led by Mary Runser with the help of Sandy Brown and Mary Kissell prepared them for serving. The beer batter which was pre mixed dry by former SONS Pres. Ralph Corvaglia was finished by mixing in the beer and eggs by former VP Bill Brown The fryer crew and runners led by Chuck Mller, consisted of Ralph Friend, John Krupinski, John Kovach, Joe Springer. Keith Cauvel, Mike Kabasinski and Mike Felege started battering and frying the filets. The serving team included Larry Lipinski, Ken Mims, Ray Halt, Bert Camp and Rich Cass. The guests started arriving about 11:00 AM but by then everything was up and running to serve them. Rich Brine, Don Tombaugh and Tom Pruzenski signed in the guests who were met and greeted by Ed Kissell and Jerry Skrypzak and Jack Klapthor. The welcome team helped 50 of the guests with renewing their memberships and many of them purchased raffle tickets while others made donations. About 110 guests came to enjoy the day.

We must point out that September 6th was the hottest day of this year with the thermometer reaching 91 deg. Thank you to all who endured the heat to create a successful event including those previously mentioned  and Dave Mikeska, Tom Nichols Dick Kelley, Paul Holtz, Sue and Steve Capella and Dave Karle who also pitched in setting up, trimming fish, filling coolers, cleaning up and tearing down. Another thankyou goes out to Heidi and Gerard and their Bayshore Marina Crew for their help and the use of the facility. Finally we owe a great vote of thanks to all of those contestants in the local summer tournaments who donated their catch so that we can hold our annual fish fry at the Emmaus Soup Kitchen which is scheduled for September 15th and for this annual Partners Appreciation Fish /fry

We apologize that due to a corrupted picture card there are not photos of the fish fry. They would have saved a lot of typing because a picture is worth a thousand words.


Avon Beach is shown lined with caution tap and occupied by heavy excavation equipment ready to proceed with a $95,000 shore stabilization project which is being funded by a Lake Erie Access grant. The work will be completed in time for the steelhead run.


Beginning September 27th the boat docks at the Presque Isle Marina will be removed and replaced with new ones. The construction area will be closed and no fishing will be allowed in the construction area during the construction period.


Since the first publication of our newsletter “The Bucket” we have solicited sponsors to support its printing and mailing costs. Many of them have been sponsors for over forty years since the first issue. The price of the sponsorship is a mere $60 per year. The list of sponsors is included with each publication of the over 2000 newsletters that are mailed out or emailed. We would like to welcome five of our new sponsors which include: 12th St. Beer Co. LLC, Real Nutz Vodka, Folly’s End Campground and Fly Shop, Creative  Imprints Co, Fishermen’s Haven and Elk Creek Sports. Read through the list of our sponsors and take advantage of their services and purchase their products.


As autumn moves closer many of us will be heading into the woods for hunting, stream fishing and hiking. These activities expose us to the possibility of deer tick bites but there are many things one can do to avoid a bite and catching Lyme disease which they carry. They include the following:

 • Wear light-colored clothing with a tight weave to spot ticks easily.
 • Wear enclosed shoes, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt.
 • Tuck pant legs into socks or boots and shirt into pants.
 • Check clothes and any exposed skin frequently for ticks while outdoors.
 • Consider using insect repellent.
 • Stay on cleared, well-traveled trails,

Photo of deer tick

Another bug to watch out for is the spotted lantern fly which although not dangerous to humans but threaten our environment by damaging our crops especially vineyards. Two were recently spotted in Erie County and we have been asked to be on the lookout and kill them on sight,

The spotted lanternfly, an invasive pest, could cause economic impacts if allowed to spread. It has been found in southeast Pennsylvania and threatens nearby states. Lumber, grapes and hops industries are particularly at risk because spotted lanternfly likes to feed on these plants. This pest spreads easily by hitchhiking on vehicles or laying its eggs on most any flat surface – like the sides of box cars, propane tanks and equipment stored outside.



 If so, send us an email to  list your name, address and note that you would like to change to the electronic version. So far we have about 160 members who have requested the change so far. You can always read the current and past issues of the Bucket at our web site, any time.

A STEELHEAD KICKOFF Party will be held Saturday October 21 from 11AM until 5 PM under the pavilion at Folly’s End Campground 8600 Rt. 98, Girard, PA 16417. Admission is free and open to the public. It promises to be a fun filled day with DJ Music, Food Truck, Micro-Brew truck and experts on hand to share their fishing knowledge and fishing opportunities there. The experts on hand will be Gary Kell certified fly casting instructor and guide, Karl Weixlmann writer, author  and owner operator of Fly Fish Erie, Tony Dranzo owner operator of Addicted Angler School, Ari Capotis guide and owner operator of Keystone Fly Girl, Mark Signorino fly casting instructor and guide and Julie Szur fly fishing guide. There also will be manufacturer reps on hand.


On Saturday October  7th from 12-4 Fish USA will be hosting its “Chrome Fest 2023” steelhead seminar at its warehouse location at 6960 West Ridge Rd. Fairview, PA. It is free and open to the public experts like Fish USA pro staff member Roger Hinchcliff, Female Steelhead Guide Ari Capotis and Jack Bar Erie tributary guide. Free food and drinks will be served


Bloodsucking Sea Lampreys are Biting Back in America's Great Lakes A creepy, parasitic fish that thrives by sucking the blood out of its hosts – earning the nickname "vampire fish" – is making a comeback in the Great Lakes after the pandemic interrupted population control of the species. The fish, which has a circular row of teeth, a serrated tongue, and an eel-like shape, is called the sea lamprey.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, sea lampreys are native to the northern and western Atlantic Ocean but invaded the Great Lakes around the early 19th century through the Welland Canal, which connects Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. "Within a decade, they had gained access to all five Great Lakes, where they quickly set to work predating on the lakes' commercially important fishes, including trout, whitefish, perch, and sturgeon," the NOAA wrote. "Within a century, the trout fishery had collapsed, largely due to the lamprey's unchecked proliferation." By the 1960s, sea lampreys reduced the annual commercial catch of lake trout in the upper Great Lakes from about 15 million to half a million pounds. The Great Lakes Fishery Commission, along with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, has been responsible for managing the population of this highly invasive species, and the agencies have done so with considerable success. The fishery commission touts on its website that sea lamprey populations have been reduced by 90 percent "in most areas of the Great Lakes." But between 2020 and 2021, the COVID–19 pandemic and ensuing travel restrictions interrupted the agencies' ability to go out and perform some of the population management operations. Now, fishery managers say the population of the parasitic fish has ticked up across the Great Lakes, The Wall Street Journal reported. It's unclear how much the population exactly increased, but according to a 2022 report from Undark Magazine, a nonprofit science publication, crews responsible for population control were only able to treat about 25 percent of the target streams in 2020. The following year, the teams reached 75 percent of their targets, the publication reported. Treatment can be expensive and laborious, requiring the carefully-timed application of pesticides called lampricides to reduce the population. Controlling the lamprey population is estimated to cost around $15 to $20 million a year.


   Sea Lamprey                                                            Lampreys attacking brown trout


Thursday September 21 9:00 AM   meet at the Presque Isle cook house Veteran’s fishing outing aboard the JoAnn M Volunteers needed

Saturday Sept 23rd 1-3 PM East Waterworks pond Cub Scout Pack 17 fishing volunteers needed

Saturday Sept. 30th  10-12 East Waterworks pond Grover Cleveland School fishing volunteers needed

Saturday September 30th 2-6 PM PA Steelhead Association’s Fall Run Banquet at Pleasant Ridge Park go to for more info and to purchase tickets.

Saturday Oct 7, !2-4 Fish USA 6960 West Ridge Rd. Fairview, PA Chrome Fest Steelhead seminar public welcome.

Saturday October 21st 10-5 Folly’s End Campground Steelhead Kickoff Party

Thursday October 26th 9:00 AM Niagara Boat Launch PISP fish habitat assembly and deployment volunteers needed                                                


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