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

August 30, 1998

Dear Volunteers and Friends of The Lobster Conservancy,

The Lobster Conservancy's board members and participants in the Intertidal Lobster Monitoring Program enjoyed a beautiful afternoon on Orr's Island attending the 1998 Volunteer Appreciation Day Lobster Feed on August 16th. Many lobsters were donated by Carl Anderson. Additional lobsters were purchased by TLC from Evelyn Anderson. The party served as a wonderful opportunity for everyone to meet other individuals affiliated with TLC. John Cowan videotaped the introductions and awards.

Volunteers enjoying lobster dinner at TLC's Volunteer Appreciation Day. Photo by Diane Cowan. ceremony at the kick off of this great event!

Research News
The most exciting research news this month is the submission of Diane's manuscript regarding her long term monitoring of recently settled and early juvenile lobsters at Lowell's Cove. We anxiously await its publication!

Tagging Individuals at Lowell's Cove

Kohl Kanwit and Bob Cowan surveying a lobster transect on the east side of Barleyfield Point. Photo by Diane Cowan. As usual, Diane went to Lowell's Cove this month to continue collecting data. Despite the wind and stormy weather, Diane managed to tag over 150 juveniles and recapture almost thirty lobsters. The most exciting event of the August tides was finding several postlarvae and fifth stage juveniles. Diane commented that she has not seen such large numbers of postlarval lobsters since the 1993-94 field season. This is a very exciting and encouraging observation.

This month also brought a visit from Diane's brother, Professor Robert Cowan of Rutger's University who accompanied her to the field and helped out by filming and photographing Diane's research method and her subjects.

Volunteer Research

August proved to be another month of settlement at many of the volunteer sites! Good job at spotting and catching the postlarvae and fifth stagers.

Amy Watson collected data at her site in Cundy's Harbor again this month. She found 13 lobsters in all, including 3 recently settled lobsters each measuring 7 mm in carapace length (CL)!

Corie Bibber went out to both Mackerel Cove and Little Harbor. With a nice low tide, Corie was able to finish Little Harbor in one day and found 21 lobsters in 20 meters! Mackerel Cove yielded a total of 2 lobsters this month.

Corie Bibber taking a salinity reading by looking through a hand-held refractometer. Photo by Diane Cowan.
Kristine Osolin collected data alone this month at Pott's Point. She found five lobsters in the transect and one dead juvenile. [Note: If you find a dead lobster please record the data on it as you would a live one, and record anything unusual such as injuries or bacterial growth.] Sadly TLC has to say good-bye to Kristine and Eric Cobbs who are both off to the University of Maine at Orono this month. Good luck at university, we will miss you here at TLC! Keep in touch.

David Guay a laboratory instructor at Bowdoin College and a volunteer for the Harpswell Conservation Commission has agreed to finish the survey season at Pott's Point. Welcome to TLC and welcome back to the project! Dave was one of the original lobster census takers from Diane's marine biology class at Bates College during the 1992-93 season!

Recently settled postlarval lobster on Diane's fingertip. Photo by Kohl Kanwit.
Ned and Kathy Osolin faithfully went to their site on Jaquish Island this month and found ten lobsters. Thank you for your dedication and hard work.

Bobbi Costello and Alan Stewart searched for lobster several times in August and found a total of 57 lobsters at their sites in New Hampshire. One of the lobsters they found was a postlarva that measured a mere 4 mm CL. Congratulations on detecting settlement in New Hampshire! Al and Bobbi have also witnessed poaching by observing people looking for and collecting juvenile lobsters. This is highly illegal and if you suspect someone of poaching contact the local marine patrol officer at once. The Lobster Conservancy has a special permit from the states of both Maine and New Hampshire that includes the name of every volunteer who participates in the lobster monitoring program. Without permission from the state even picking up a juvenile lobster or disturbing them in any other way can result in a serious fine. Please watch out for poachers and notify authorities if you see anything suspicious.

Postlarval and fifth stage juvenile lobster together in the palm of Kohl's hand. Photo by Diane Cowan.

Jane Roundy and Julie Wortman went into the field several times this month looking for additional sites to sample. They found two locations at Drift Inn Beach in Port Clyde that they intend to survey in September. In an email message, Jane sent referring to their sampling at Holiday Beach in Owl's Head she said: "We look forward to recording the data on lobsters as opposed to Sunday's experience of green crabs, sea urchins, and rock gunnels!" Congratulations, you found good sites and we appreciate your efforts!

Kohl went to Basin Point alone this month and collected data. She found a total of 19 lobsters, 9 in the transect and 10 at random. No settlement was observed. Kohl is also in the process of revising the volunteer training packet. Along with new improvements and additions, a hand made field guide will be added to aid volunteers in identifying the marine organisms commonly encountered along with the lobsters in the lower intertidal zone. Your comments on the original training packet are welcome!

Penobscot Bay Project
This month TLC's efforts in Penobscot Bay involved the training of six new volunteers at Waterman Cove. These volunteers were recruited by Dave Cousens, President of the Maine Lobstermen's Association, who believes that involving young people in lobster research is a critical step toward bridging the gap between science and the public. These new recruits are all young lobstermen living in the South Thomaston area who are interested in learning more about the life of the lobster before they enter their traps.

Volunteer recruitment will also take place on Vinalhaven and in Rockland on September 3rd and 4th. Diane has arranged to give two lectures in the Penobscot Bay area designed to encourage participation in TLC's Intertidal Lobster Monitoring Project. The first will take place on September 9th on Vinalhaven Island at 7 p.m. The second lecture is scheduled for the same time on September 4th in Stonington on Deer Isle. Anyone interested in attending is encouraged to do so.

Community Education

Carol White with her gang of participants in the Chebeague Island Lobster Camp. Photo by Diane Cowan.
Carol White from Chebeague Island contacted Diane earlier in the month in order to learn more about TLC. After their first discussion Diane started initiating Carol as a volunteer monitor. Her first time in the field Carol found a postlarval lobster! She asked Diane to visit Chebeague and participate in their Lobster Camp on August 20th. Diane and Carol took the kids to a cove on a rainy day field trip at 4 a.m. followed by a lecture after breakfast.
Invited Lectures
In August, Diane was invited to introduce herself and TLC at the annual meeting of the Charles Lowery Foundation in Harpswell. A great group of people TLC will stay in contact with.

Diane will be giving several lectures in the next couple of months. She will be speaking at Colby College on September 16th; the Women's Aquatic Network, SUNY Stony Brook on September 23rd; Pace University in New York on September 24th; and the Coastal Conference at the Samoset Resort in Rockport on October 9th and 10th. You are welcome to attend any of these presentations.

For more information about the lectures please call 207-729-2635 or email dcowan@horton.col.k12.me.us.

Fund Raising Highlights
The Island Institute has offered The Lobster Conservancy a contract to coordinate the Penobscot Bay Intertidal Lobster Monitoring Program as part of the comprehensive Penobscot Bay Project. This represents a fabulous opportunity to work with many scientists, managers and policy makers in the state on a collaborative research project aimed at gaining an understanding of the entire Penobscot Bay Ecosystem.

The Adopt-a-Lobster program generated more funds this month and continues to contribute to TLC's promotional expenses. In total, 125 lobsters were adopted and certificates and photos have been sent out to the proud parents.

Caps continue to be sold to supporters and admirers of TLC. Currently cap sales have generated enough money to purchase more caps and to cover the expense of giving them to all the volunteers who attended the lobster feed. Now TLC volunteers have a uniform for when they are out in the field doing research!

Preparation for Fish EXPO continues. TLC board member Alex Loer is loaning his presentation board to TLC so that an impressive display can be assembled. October is right around the corner, so if you would like to attend Fish EXPO let us know so we can get you a complimentary pass. The dates again are October 15-17th, we hope to see you there! Thanks again to board member Tom Archambault who has made it possible for us to attend this event.

Shaw's and Shop & Save Supermarkets made contributions to TLC for the purchase of food and beverages for the Volunteer Appreciation Day celebration. Shaw's donated $10 and Shop & Save donated $25. TLC thanks them for their generous donations.

Visitors to The Lobster Conservancy

The Lobster Feed was preceeded by TLC's annual board meeting. All members were in attendance except Kari Lavalli who could not make it up from her new home in Texas. It was an excellent meeting and progress was made on all fronts. Every member of the board agreed that it has been an incredible year for The Lobster Conservancy and they look toward the future with great anticipation.

Diane's parents also visited TLC this month and were kind enough to host our Volunteer Appreciation Day at the cottage they were renting. The location could not have been more perfect. Thank you, Pat and John!

Pat and John Cowan enjoying lobster. Check out the lobster pants! Photo by Diane Cowan.
Other News
Thanks to Jim Jones and Al Stewart a "What's New" page at our web site has been assembled and posted. Check it out so you can all see the photos that accompany these newsletters! Link to it from the home, volunteer, or research page.

Thank you to all those who have participated in the Volunteer Monitoring Program this summer and keep up the good work this fall! Remember, as always, call in with your dates for the tides at least one week in advance.

Yours in TLC and Friendship,

Sara Ellis, Executive Director and Diane Cowan, Senior Scientist

TLC News