P.O. Box 235, Friendship, ME 04547 (207) 832-8224 www.lobsters.org

November, 2002

Dear Volunteers and Friends of The Lobster Conservancy,

The Lobster Conservancy’s mission is to sustain a thriving lobster fishery through science and community. This newsletter keeps our friends and volunteer research team informed of our activities. Here's what we've been up to over the past few months.

News from the Board of Directors
The Lobster Conservancy moved into our new mainland office in downtown Friendship at the end of October. We have christened the building Lobster House. Our dream is to make the Lobster House a community focal point for lobster research and education projects. The building is located at 6 Waldoboro Rd., at the intersection of Routes 97 and 220. We have kept the same mailing address and phone number, so keep those letters and phone calls coming!

The TLC "family" is growing. Board member Moe Bisson was proud to announce the birth of his new grandchild, Annalise, born August 12. Fellow board member and long-time volunteer Amy Watson will be a new Mom in May! Welcome aboard to new staff member Michele Walsh. As our Research Administrative Assistant, Michele will help keep our research projects running smoothly. Michele lives on Hatchet Cove in Friendship and brings with her professional experience in both the scientific and nonprofit worlds.

In August, The Lobster Conservancy held a reception at the Martin Point Community Center in Friendship. The event was well attended by local residents and gave us a chance to meet people and tell them first-hand about our innovative research and education programs centered in Friendship. Thank you to Steve Hensel for sharing his perspective on how TLC contributes to the local community. Thank you also to Priscilla Ambrose, Amy Armstrong, Edie Armstrong, John Guarnaccia, Sarah Havener, Mary Ann Hensel, Alice Ingraham, Cecily Kahn, David Kapp, Ellen Strickland, Mercedes Villamil and Mark and Pam Wallace for helping us organize this reception and providing a smorgasbord of delicious treats.

We are pleased to announce that Davis Conservation Foundation has awarded us a grant to help support our Sonar Tracking Project (see Lobster Life Studies Center for details). Thanks also to the Beim Foundation, Roger K. Berle Foundation, and Sella Foundation for general support.

Research News
Volunteer Program
In October, volunteers wrapped up the 7th year of volunteer-based sampling in the Juvenile Lobster Monitoring Program (JLMP). This year, more than 65 volunteers monitored juvenile lobsters at 22 sites from Vinalhaven, Maine to Boston Harbor, Massachusetts. Welcome aboard to our latest recruits: Lois Day of Vinalhaven, Thomas Mayer and Jeannie Wilson of Winter Harbor, and Michele Walsh of Friendship.

This year, Jane Roundy volunteered her time to coordinate the program and develop our Data Quality Assurance Program. As part of the quality assurance program, we introduced a Volunteer Certification which included a refresher session, a lab practical, field tests and a written test. We also introduced a new volunteer training video produced by Pier 8 Productions. Volunteers have been giving us valuable feedback by means of a questionnaire that Jane sent out at the end of the season.

Our annual Volunteer Appreciation Day was held on Friendship Long Island in September. Thank you to Jane and her parents, Martha and Ed, for organizing such a smooth and yummy event. Thanks also to Corie Bibber-Logan for sharing her knowledge about seaweed identification, using live and dried specimens.

Corie Bibber-Logan enriched this yearís Volunteer Appreciation Day with a lesson in seaweed identification (photo by Sara Ellis).

TLC scientist, Sara Ellis, will be analyzing the 2002 volunteer data over the winter, and will share our results with volunteers, harvesters, funders, and government agencies by spring. Jane is entering all the volunteer data into a relational database that was designed for TLC by Andy Beet of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. We anticipate that by next spring, volunteers will be able to enter their data remotely over the internet, which will speed up the process of data entry and analysis.

Long-term Tagging of Juvenile Lobster
Diane has continued year-round, long-term tag-and-recapture studies of juvenile lobsters at Lowell's Cove on Orr's Island in Casco Bay, where she is finishing her 10th year of sampling. Island Institute Fellow Dan O'Grady has been tagging lobsters at Deep Cove on Friendship Long Island in Muscongus Bay, with assistance from Chris Cash, Linda Archambault and Michele Walsh of TLC. This is the 4th study year at Deep Cove. This research will yield important information on growth and movement patterns of juvenile lobsters in the wild. We have been collecting temperature data at both of these sites as part of a long-term comparative study of three sentinel nursery sites (see below.)

Long-term Comparative Study
We have been making great progress in TLC’s comparative study of juvenile lobster ecology and behavior as it relates to temperature and depth. Using SCUBA, we located 5 m and 10 m deep study sites near two of our three sentinel intertidal sites. We have been developing methods for underwater sampling of juvenile lobsters.

Preliminary analyses of temperature data obtained using "tidbits", the tiny waterproof temperature-sensing devices deployed in our study sites, confirm our hypothesis that Allen Island, which is further offshore than Friendship Long Island or Orrs Island, experiences a cooler temperature regime than the other two study sites (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Average monthly temperatures in the intertidal zone at our sentinel sites, March to September, 2002.

Average temperatures in the intertidal zone were similar to surface water temperatures and were several degrees warmer than deeper water temperatures during the summer months (Figure 2). Next year we will be able to test whether the timing of lobster movements varies significantly at the three sites due to differences in temperature regimes.

Figure 2. Average monthly temperatures at 4 depths at North Beach, Allen Island, April to September, 2002.

Lobster Life Studies Center
Sonar Tracking Project
Our Sonar Tracking Project is off and running! This project is designed to identify and map the spawning and hatching grounds of female lobsters within Muscongus Bay. After sea sampling and establishing methods from June through August, Diane and Dan tagged 193 egg-bearing female lobsters within Muscongus Bay in September and October.

As part of TLC's Sonar Tracking Project, 193 lobsters were outfitted with a sonar transmitter, numerical ID tag and a specialized underwater thermometer (photo by Diane Cowan).

A team of Friendship lobstermen have been "listening" for them from their fishing vessels using acoustic tracking equipment and recording the position, depth and bottom type where they hear a lobster. Sonar-tagged eggers have also been caught in traps and their locations have been called in by lobstermen all over the bay and beyond. So far, 40 lobsters have been recaptured once, and five have been recaptured twice.

Diane Cowan (right) trains Friendship lobstermen Philip Bramhall and Normand Collarmore how to 'listen' for sonar-tagged lobsters (photo by Sara Ellis).

TLC launched a new research vessel to be used for sonar tracking in areas of the bay where the participating lobstermen are not fishing. The Capt’n Zack, a 25 foot fiberglass-over-wood lobster boat was launched at the end of September after a new engine and electronics were installed by Lash Brothers Boat Yard of Friendship.

Thank you to the following lobstermen and their sternmen for participating in sea sampling and sonar tracking: Kevin Benner F/V Wanda Marie, Marty Benner F/V Debbie Jean, Philip Bramhall F/V Amanda Kate, Darrell Brazier F/V Amy Sue, Philip Genthner F/V Melinda Kay, Rodney Genthner F/V Brooke Laura, Mark Havener F/V Sarah Ashley, Steve Lash F/V Streaker II, John Murphy F/V Redeemed, Alvin Rackliff F/V Mornin’ Mist, Bill Rourke F/V A-Bill, and Mark Wallace F/V Pamela B. This project is being funded primarily by the Northeast Consortium (www.northeastconsortium.org).

Outreach and Education
Over the past few years, TLC scientists and volunteers have participated in an informal education program by giving presentations at public forums and schools. So far this year, TLC scientists and educators have given 21 presentations (Table 1).

To formalize our education program we launched a Lobster Literacy Program in Spring 2002. The overall goal of the project is to increase students' environmental literacy, particularly with regard to lobsters and the marine environment. Our program has several components including classroom projects (e.g., Lobster Larvae in the Classroom, see August newsletter), an education center called the Lobster Learning Center for school groups and teacher training (see below), and presentations at schools.

In 2003, we plan to repeat Lobster Larvae in the Classroom in Friendship and offer it to other nearby schools. But, we are also seeking funds to enlist Maine’s top educators to work with us in developing a lobster curriculum that can be offered throughout New England.

TLC educators Diane Cowan, Linda Archambault and Dan O’Grady attended the Gulf of Maine Marine Educators Conference on October 26 in Portland, ME. Diane gave a presentation on lobster biology and shared her vision for spreading lobster literacy to students throughout the Gulf of Maine. In the display area of the conference, Linda and Dan set up a demonstration of an intertidal quadrat sampling activity for school kids and a poster of TLC’s many education activities. We learned about the work of other educators in the Gulf of Maine and generated much interest in our Lobster Larvae in the Classroom project. To learn more about Gulf of Maine Marine Educators Association, the organization that sponsored the conference, visit their web site (www.gommea.org).

Lobster Learning Center
Thanks to Island Institute fellow Dan O'Grady and a grant from MBNA our property at Little Morse Island is being transformed into the Lobster Learning Center. This past summer, Dan oversaw many improvements to the building and grounds including a new propane system and appliances, new windows and entry door, a composting toilet and water pump, cozy rugs and furniture, a limited electric supply in the form of a 12-volt marine battery and power inverter, debris removal from around the pound, and new boards for the wharf and walkway.

The classroom building and wharf at Little Morse Island (photo by Dan O'Grady).

Hurricane Island Outward Bound School students helped clean the grounds at the Lobster Learning Center in exchange for lessons about lobster biology and research (photo by Linda Archambault).

We used the facility twice for education purposes this summer. In August, students from Hurricane Island Outward Bound School traveled to Little Morse Island in two pulling boats.

As part of a service-learning project they cleaned up the periphery of the pound in return for lessons on lobster biology and research. Later that month Dan O’Grady and Linda Archambault wowed a group of children visiting from Warren School Age Child Care with a presentation on the lobster life cycle.

There are many people to thank for donations of furniture and time. These include Mark Wallace for setting moorings; Bob Souers for installing the ramp and float; Lee and Eileen Schlorff for donating rattan furniture items; Joanne Omang for a set of chairs and kitchen equipment; Dan and Susan O’Grady for three rugs and two days of labor on the wharf and walkway; Miles and Stephanie Jamieson for helping with the toilet installation; and Ray Montana for installing the entry door.

Press Coverage
So far this year TLC has been the subject of media coverage 24 times, including Diane’s monthly "Lobster Doc" columns in Commercial Fisheries news (Table 2). Watch the December issue of Working Water Front for an article by Dan about our Sonar Tracking Project. You can read such news articles online as they become available at www.lobsters.org/press/press.php.

Multitudes of Thanks
Since TLC’s inception we have been blessed by incredible support from our friends. This autumn has been no exception. David Burnham, John Crobar, John Foote, George Hampson, Alice Ingraham, Martha MacIlvaine, Phil McKean, Joanne Omang, and the Medomak Valley Land Trust helped us set up our new office by donating furniture and equipment. We appreciate Jim Bolen’s donation of a Mustang survival suit. Thank you to Darrell and Amy Brazier and Billy Moody for rescuing our skiff after a dramatic storm this fall, and to board member Mark Wallace for help with boats and moorings throughout the year. Thank you to Kevin Benner, Jerry Laine, and Miles Jamieson for helping to winterize the Lobster Life Studies Center, especially for taking up our ramp and float. We are grateful to Miles Jamieson and Nick Bauer for fixing the walkway at the Lobster Life Studies Center, and to Dan O’Grady who came all the way from Massachusetts help his son Dan fix up the walkway at the Lobster Learning Center. We also appreciate all the phone calls we’ve been getting from lobstermen around the state who have been reporting on the sonar-tagged lobsters they catch.

Upcoming Events
Our monthly meeting with the Sonar Tracking team will be held at the Hahn Community Center on December 12th at 7 pm. All harvesters are welcome.

On Tuesday, January 21, 2003, Diane Cowan will present a talk entitled, "Lobsters: From Eggs to Plate" for the Kennebec Naturalist Society. All are welcome! The talk will be at 6:30pm at Augusta’s City Hall, 16 Cony Street, (next to old Fort Western.) For more information, please contact Tom Danielson at kns@kennebecnaturalist.org or call 621-4160.

TLC will be hosting a booth again at the annual Maine Fishermen’s Forum, which will be held at the Samoset Resort in Rockport February 27 - March 1. This is always a great opportunity for us to swap stories with harvesters, scientists, volunteers and other friends. We hope to see you there.

Holiday Shopping Fun
With the holiday season upon us, you may be searching for unique gifts that support a good cause. Look no further! The Lobster Conservancy can offer some fresh ideas.

Our latest gift suggestion is an excellent video on lobsters by filmmakers Nick Caloyianis and Clarita Berger, entitled "Realm of the Lobster." This award-winning video combines extraordinary one-of-a-kind footage and spectacular vistas to reveal the rich variety of marine life that lives in the realm of the lobster. This video will knock your socks off and has been bestowed with several prestigious awards including the Gold Special Jury from the Worldfest at Houston, Texas, the Gold Cine Eagle from the CINE Festival, Washington, D.C., and The Earthwatch 2001 Environmental Award, which was presented at The National Geographic Society in December. Videos can be purchased in person through the TLC office or online at www.movieodysseys.com..

The Lobster Conservancy has TLC hats and T-shirts for sale. The T-Shirts have a red cartoon of a lobster family and the words "The Lobster Conservancy; We're Counting on You." The shirts are X-Large white Hanes Beefy-Ts and cost $13 (including shipping). TLC also sells low-profile caps that sport a red lobster and the words "The Lobster Conservancy, Friendship, Maine." Hats are khaki with either blue or green brims and are priced at $18 (including shipping). You can take a look at these gifts and print out mail-in order forms at www.lobsters.org/tlcstuff.html. However to try to receive these items before Christmas, we recommend that you phone in your order by December 15 (we can take credit card orders by phone).

TLC’s Wish List
If you (or Santa!) can spare any of the following items, we would be happy to give them a new home, providing they are in good working order. The value of your donation would, of course, be tax deductible. Please call us at 207-832-8224 about a potential donation.

As always, your support will be most appreciated. Best wishes to all for a great holiday season.



The Lobster Conservancy

Outreach and Education Activity, January — November 2002
Fishermen's Heritage Lobster Coop Friendship, ME Jan. 8 Cooperative Research on

Mapping Lobster Spawning and Hatching Grounds

Diane F. Cowan,

Dan F. O'Grady

Bowdoin College, Geometrics Class Brunswick, ME Feb 21 Service Learning Projects

at The Lobster Conservancy

Diane F. Cowan
Maine Fishermen’s Forum Samoset Resort, Rockport, ME Mar 2 Predicting Future Lobster Landings; panel discussion Diane F. Cowan
Maine Fishermen’s Forum Samoset Resort, Rockport Feb 28-Mar 2 The Lobster Conservancy's Research and Education Programs TLC staff and volunteers
TLC Volunteers Friendship, ME

Portsmouth, NH

Apr. 13 & 14 Juvenile Lobster Monitoring Program:

Pre-season Kick off Meeting

Sara L. Ellis

Jane Roundy

Bowdoin College, Geometrics Class Brunswick, ME May 2 Service Learning Projects

at The Lobster Conservancy; Follow up

Sara L. Ellis
Mid-Coast Stewards Darling Marine Center

Walpole, ME

May 2 The Lobster Life Cycle: from Egg to Plate Sara L. Ellis
Friendship Village School Friendship, ME April/May Lobster Larvae in the Classroom Linda Archambault,

Dan O'Grady

Camden-Rockport Middle School Environment Week Camden Hills State Park, Camden, ME June 3-6 Intertidal Ecology Field Trips Dan O’Grady

Linda Archambault

Friendship Day Friendship, ME July 27 Marine Touch Tank Diane F. Cowan, Stephanie Cowan, Paul & Linda Archambault, Sara L. Ellis
Lobster Festival Rockland, ME July 31-Aug 3 The Lobster Conservancy's Research and Education Programs TLC staff and volunteers
Fishermen's Heritage Lobster Coop Friendship, ME Aug. 2 Mapping Lobster Spawning and Hatching Grounds Diane F. Cowan and

Dan. F O'Grady

Hurricane Island Outward Bound School Lobster Learning Center, Aug. 8 Service Learning Project Linda Archambault,

Dan. F O'Grady

Chebeague Lobster Camp Lobster Life Studies Center Aug. 13 Lobster Biology and Research Diane F. Cowan,

Sarah Pickering

Warren School Age Child Care Little Morse Is.,

Friendship, ME

Aug. 23 Lobster Biology and Island Living Dan O’Grady

Linda Archambault

Medomak Valley Land Trust Lobster Life Studies Center Aug. 24 Lobster Biology and Research Diane F. Cowan

Sara L. Ellis

Martin Point Community Center Friendship, ME Aug. 26 TLC’s Programs in Friendship, Maine Diane F. Cowan

Sara L. Ellis, Steve Hensel

Ashwood Waldorf School Rockport, ME Sept. 13 Lobster Life Cycle Linda Archambault
Conservation Education Fair Union, ME Sept. 25 Lobster Biology and Intertidal Sampling Activities Linda Archambault
Vinalhaven School Vinalhaven Island, ME Oct. 10 Lobster Life Cycle Dan O’Grady

Linda Archambault

Burcham Retirement Home Lansing Michigan Oct. 19 TLC’s Research & Education Programs Diane F. Cowan
Gulf of Maine Marine Educators’ Conference Portland, ME Oct. 26 Lobster Literacy Diane F. Cowan

The Lobster Conservancy
Year 2002 Media Coverage
Commercial Fisheries News,

Stonington, ME

"Ask the Lobster Doc"











Female Lobsters of Grand Manan

Part I: Lobster mating trials

Part II: More males than females

Lobsters and insecticides

Lobster molting: signs and factors

Smell and lobster reproduction

Caring for lobsters during shedding season

Diane F. Cowan
Harpswell Anchor

Harpswell, ME

February/March Browntail wagging the dog? Molly Laird
The Republican Journal

Belfast, ME


Bangor Daily News

Bangor, ME

February 14 Double crusher lobster donated to TLC by Weathervane Restaurant in Belfast Tina Shute


Walter Griffin

Portland Press Herald,

Portland, ME

March 4 Harpswell lobstermen see pesticide as threat Dennis Hoey
Bangor Daily News

Bangor, ME

March 4 Scientists aid lobstermen in predicting fishery’s future Sharon Kiley Mack
The Courier Gazette

Rockland, ME

March 5 Scientists expect decline in lobster landings Daniel Dunkle
The Casco Bay Bulletin,

Portland, ME

Spring 2002 The Ultimate Shell Game: Browntails or Lobsters Mary Cerullo
Medomak Valley Land Trust Newsletter

Waldoboro, ME

Spring 2002 The Lobster Conservancy: Working to Support the Fishery Dan O’Grady
Atlantic Monthly Magazine April 2002 Stalking the American Lobster Trevor Corson
The Courier Gazette,

Rockland, ME

April 11 Marine program scheduled Sunday Sara Ellis
The Courier Gazette

Rockland, ME

May 4 Friendship teacher is top elementary conservation teacher Peter Abello
The Courier Gazette

Rockland, ME

May 11 Friendship students examine lobster’s life Steve Rzasa
The Courier-Gazette

Rockland, ME

May 25 Lobster program trial at Friendship school Linda Archambault
Working Waterfront/Inter-Island News, Rockland, ME June Friendship students work with lobster larvae Linda Archambault
The Courier-Gazette

Rockland, ME

October 8 Five-year study focuses on lobsters Dagney C. Ernest
The Journal News

Westchester County, NY

October 21 Lobster troubles go north: Massachusetts, Rhode Island catches decline due to contagious shell disease Ken Valenti
The Free Press November 7 How to track a lobster Melissa Waterman


Yours in TLC and Friendship,

Sara Ellis, Executive Director and Diane Cowan, Senior Scientist

TLC News