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

30 June 1998

Dear Volunteers and Friends of The Lobster Conservancy,

June has proved to be another productive and successful month for The Lobster Conservancy and its volunteers. Thank you again for your efforts. Please let us know if you need any equipment or data sheets before the next set of tides -- which are coming up soon. Remember to call ahead with your dates so we can forward them to DMR!

Research News
Research results from the long-term study at Lowell's Cove appeared as a cover story in the June issue of Maine Lobstermen's Association Newsletter!

Tagging individuals at Lowell's Cove
Yearling lobster held between Diane's thumb and fingers. Photo by Diane's camera. Diane tagged more than 300 juvenile lobsters with microwire tags again this month. Twenty eight previously tagged individuals were recaptured, including one individual with an external sphyrion tag.

Despite all the rain and fresh water run-off the week before the tides, the waters of Orr's Island were still full of juvenile lobsters.

Captured lobsters with a carapace measurement of 45 mm or more continued to receive a sphyrion tag, bring the number of externally tagged individuals to more than 120.

In an effort to let local fisherman know about the external tags and what they should do if they find one, Diane and Kohl made a poster which they posted at lobster dealerships and general stores throughout Harpswell, Orr's and Bailey Islands. Diane also wrote a notice about the sphyrion tagging project for Commercial Fisheries News.

Diane, Vice President Kari Lavalli, and Zone Council Member Brian Tarbox went SCUBA diving in Lowell's Cove this month. The information gathered there may provide a useful comparison to the data that has been collected from the intertidal zone.

This month all of the May data was processed. The recapture legs were dissected and the tags were read. We are keeping right on top of our data from Lowell's Cove and from the volunteers, entering it as quickly as it comes in!

Bowdoin College Coastal Studies Center
Diane and Kohl visited Bowdoin College's new Coastal Studies Center on Orr's Island to determine its suitability as a location for continuing the elastomer tag retention study Diane started last winter in Woods Hole. David Guay, the resident caretaker, gave us the grand tour and discussed the possibility of using a sea water table for our purposes. An official request has been made, and we are anxiously waiting for the reply. If all goes well, we will be able to begin the study as early as mid-July.

Volunteer Research
Most volunteers continued their data collection for their particular field sites and found lobsters galore. Many volunteers reported finding freshly molted lobsters along with a variety of molt shells.
Kristine Osolin, Eric and John Cobbs measuring and recording lobster characteristics during volunteer training. Photo by Diane Cowan. Amy Watson went out to her site at 4:30 a.m. and found ten lobsters in her transect. When she came to the office to drop off her data, Amy saw the sphyrion tag posters and offered to pass them out around Cundy's Harbor for TLC. Thank you, Amy!

Corie Bibber went out alone this month three times, once to Mackerel Cove and twice to Little Harbor. Little Harbor wound up taking two days because of the incredible number of lobsters! Corie said virtually every rock she overturned had at least one lobster living under it. Welcome to the hot spots, Corie!

Kristine Osolin and Eric Cobbs moved to a new transect at Pott's Point and found five lobsters in their quadrats. Congratulations on your new site!

Ned and Kathy Osolin made it to their second tide despite a broken motor bracket on their boat. They also found five lobsters in their quadrats.

Bobbi Costello and Alan Stewart went out four times in June and found lots of lobsters in tide pools and in their transect. The coastline of New Hampshire is proving to be an excellent addition to our survey sites.

John Hoffman went out in June and found so many lobsters at Gun Point that he couldn't finish his transect. Unfortunately, this was John's last tide; he left Maine for a teaching job at a private school in Western Massachusetts. Best of luck, John. We will miss you here at TLC!

Chris Heinig who has agreed to take over the Gun Point site in John's absence was trained by Diane this month. In July Chris and his daughters Grace and Anneliese will be doing the survey together. We hope they find tons of lobbies!

Kohl went back to Basin Point this month and tried her transect again. Four lobbies were found in the transect and several more were caught on the east shore of the point. Not much action, but there were plenty of molt claws, so they are out there!

Thank you for all your hard work, everyone is doing a great job and finding lots of lobsters.

Al Stewart carefully measuring a juvenile lobster. Al's white quadrat is seen on the left. Photo by Diane Cowan.
Community Education
Harpswell Celebration
On June 12th, Diane attended the Harpswell Celebration at Harpswell Islands School. Diane arrived at the school at 9:00 a.m. and throughout the morning was visited by three groups of students. Diane showed slides, discussed the stages of a lobster's life, explained her intertidal juvenile lobster research program, and showed the children how to identify male and female lobsters. Matt Waddle generously donated two adult male and two adult female lobsters for this presentation.

Visitors to The Lobster Conservancy
David Conover from Compass Light came to TLC on June 25th to film Diane and Kohl doing research in the field and in the lab. The Island Institute hired David to make a promotional film containing a segment on the research of The Lobster Conservancy. David filmed Lowell's Cove lobsters ranging in size from 13-57 mm in carapace length. We had several recaptures to show off that day, including the second ever recaptured sphyrion tagged lobster. Back in the lab Diane showed him how the data from the field is processed, including the dissection of a leg and tag reading under the microscope for recaptures. The day after the filming David sent out an uncut copy of the footage he shot. If one of you would like to see it you may want to schedule a viewing before it hits the big screen!

Kari Lavalli spent some time here SCUBA diving at Lowell's Cove and writing a paper with Diane regarding lobster management issues. They hope to submit the paper for publication soon.

Fund Raising Highlights
The parents of the lobsters involved in TLC's Adopt-a-Lobster program were sent updates on the status of their "children" this month.

Eleven of the sixteen sets of parents were rewarded with the news of the recapture of their lobsters. One parent even heard the news that one of her ten lobsters had been recaptured, not once, but twice! Regrettably, five of the adopted parents received the news that their lobsters have not been recaptured. However, one such parent suggested that their lobsters were too smart to be captured by us twice!

A grant proposal was also written and sent to Maine Fishing Industry Development Center. We hope to hear from them soon stating their desire to give us money for our wonderful projects.

That's it for the June news, if there is news you would like to add, please let us know. Remember to call in with your July field dates -- there are lots to choose from so let us know as early as possible to eliminate confusion. Have a great month out there with the lobbies!

Yours in TLC and Friendship,

Sara Ellis, Executive Director and Diane Cowan, Senior Scientist

TLC News