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

4 June 1998

Dear Volunteers and Friends of The Lobster Conservancy,

The 1998 Volunteer Field season is off to a fantastic start! This year, over 30 volunteers are donating their time and energy to the Intertidal Lobster Monitoring Project. Below is a brief update on our recent activities. Thanks for all the effort youâve put into the May tides. We have received most of the data and it looks like everyone did a great job. Let us know if you need anything (data sheets, deionized water, etc.) for June.

Research News
Tagging at Lowell's Cove

Lobster with a sphyrion tag anchored into the abdominal extensor muscle where it inserts beneath the carapace. Drawing by Kohl Kanwit.
Diane tagged approximately 300 juvenile lobsters with individually coded microwire tags while quadrat sampling in May. Thirty previously tagged individuals were recaptured. Kohl achieved expertise in the sphyrion tagging technique. The weather was cooperative, the tides were super low and the gulls were hungry.

Volunteers: Harpswell and Beyond
Volunteer Matt Waddle continued his study of Yarmouth Island lobsters. In addition to finding lobsters, Matt found several species of algae he was not familiar with. He brought the samples to TLC to identify and learn about them.

Amy Watson, another veteran lobster counter, continued her data collection at Cundy's Harbor. As usual, Amy found plenty of lobsters -- and this time, most were in her quadrats!

Jack and Aaron Despres along with Martha and Peter Burtt went out on Memorial Day to collect data on their new transect at Dyer's Cove. No lobsters were found at this location.

Corie Bibber went out with her daughter Marianna to continue their investigation of Mackerel Cove. This season Corie and Marianna are accompanied by Karen Cote, a new addition to our volunteers. Corie, Mariana and Karen have also agreed to census Little Harbor.

Kristine Osolin and Eric Cobbs switched their data collection to a transect at Pott's Point. Jaquish Gut at Land's End proved too overcrowded with tourists to effectively continue that survey site.

Kristine also got her parents, Kathy and Ned, involved and trained them at their new site on Jaquish Island.

Susan March and her husband Noel were trained in Muscongus Bay on the 23rd of May. Lobsters were not found on the mainland, but were located with ease by Diane's expert eye on Friendship Long Island. I think she spied them even before we landed the boat!

Matt and Kristin Waddle exploring on an intertidal ecology field trip led by Diane for Kristin and her classmates. Photo by Diane Cowan.

Volunteer training also took Diane and Kohl to Odiorne State Park in New Hampshire. Al Stewart and Bobbi Costello located a transect and were successful in finding juvenile lobsters. Al also worked on the web site (www.lobsters.org) and thanks to him, the images now load more quickly! In addition, Al has become interested in global positioning systems (GPS) and how they might be helpful to us. We look forward to working with his new hand-held GPS!

John Hoffman, another new volunteer has begun collecting data at his study site at Gun Point. John was trained in April. On his first day of surveying on his own -- he found a tiny lobster, speckled with cream colored tips! Only two young-of-the-year were found this month (the other was found at Lowell's Cove).

Allan Brown and his two children, Jason and Jordan, went out for their first official day of data collection. Allan -- who was trained in April -- also helped TLC by gathering materials and building several new quadrats.

Finally, Chris Heinig stopped by the office to borrow some lobster literature. While waiting, his daughter Grace attempted to count all the lobsters in the office, and became so fascinated with our lobster mania -- she is now our newest volunteer!

Community Education
Intertidal Ecology
On May 21st, Diane and Kohl traveled to Moose Point State to teach the Penobscot Bay Volunteers about intertidal ecology. It was a wonderful day with plenty of sunshine and lots of critters to identify and learn about. The field trip was heralded by the students as the best event of the entire Penobscot Bay Volunteer program!

On June 1st, Diane led another field trip to Cedar Beach for Kristin Waddle's 2nd grade class (St. John's School) to teach them about the intertidal zone. Two of the kids told their teachers that it was their favorite field trip ever!

Lobster Biology
Throughout the school year, the gifted and talented 3rd and 4th grade students at Harpswell Islands School have been studying the life cycle of the lobster with Chris Corveau and Jillian Theberge. On May 22nd Diane treated the students to a talk with the assistance of two live, adult lobsters generously lent to TLC by Evelyn Anderson.

As a follow up to the talk, Diane led the students into the field on Saturday the 23rd to teach about juvenile lobsters first hand. Each student was allowed to collect data from their own meter square quadrat. The kids found about 15 juvenile lobsters that they were able to watch being measured, tagged and released.

Fund Raising Highlights
The Lobster Advisory Council voted to award TLC a modest grant in order to continue long-term monitoring at Lowell's Cove. The Wildwood Fund awarded a grant to help offset operating costs. John Hoffman, a recent graduate of Bowdoin College, arranged for the participation of The Lobster Conservancy at a fund raising event. The Island Institute has secured some funding for the Penobscot Bay Project -- earmarked to go toward the analysis of Diane's time series data set.

That's about all the news that's fit to print! Let us know if you need anything before the June tides. Don't forget to call with your sampling dates -- we need to let the DMR know when you will be out. We were stopped and questioned once in May ...

Yours in TLC and Friendship,

Sara Ellis, Executive Director and Diane Cowan, Senior Scientist

TLC News