ERIE, Pa. — S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie hosted its open house Saturday and Sunday.
The two-day, free event highlighted walleye, trout and soon-to-be-hatched perch.
Under ideal conditions, incubation takes 21 days, according to Bob Zawadzki, director of S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie.
He said, “We show them how the fish hatch, and how small they are when they do hatch.”
The great-grandchildren of one of the men who developed the hatchery visited for the first time.
“It’s really interesting, and it’s exciting to see all the people that do this,” said 12-year-old Ameilla Howard, who toured the facility with her younger brother and grandfather.
After the open house ended, volunteers prepared to siphon the tanks. They planned to release the brown trout and walleye into Presque Isle Bay on Monday.
“We’ll be putting in about 600,000, but the survival rate is about 1-2% we’re told,” said Zawadzki, which means 6,000-12,000 could survive to mature.
Club members like Dave Post are making sure others can enjoy it.
“I told her I’d take them and bring them down to S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie, because I know they teach young kids how to fish,” said Post, who donated the fishing rod collection of his late friend, Ron Bebko.
He said, “Between raising the fish–and all that–and then, helping the vets and everybody else, it’s good. And then, it keeps fishermen on the water, too.”
“It’s just nice. That way you can fish and enjoy out there,” said Ameilla.
For information about upcoming events, visit sonsoflakeerie.org/.