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

October 1998

Dear Volunteers and Friends of The Lobster Conservancy,

September was another exciting month for The Lobster Conservancy, filled with ongoing research, interesting visitors, and travel for speaking engagements and volunteer recruitment.

Kohl Kanwit left for South Thomaston early in September. Best of luck and thank you for your hard work and dedication to TLC. You are missed.

Volunteers -- please help out by calling in your October sampling dates ASAP!

 Research News
Tagging Individuals at Lowell's Cove
As usual, Diane went to Lowell's Cove this month to continue her lobster censuses. Despite the wind and stormy weather, Diane managed to tag 133 and recapture 22 juveniles.

One more lobster was added to the list of recaptures: Lobsterman, Dan Fischer -- who lands his catch at Quahog Lobster Company -- caught one of our shyrion-tagged lobsters! Female lobster #00137 was tagged at Lowell's Cove on June 27 and captured on August 26 at Gun Point Cove -- just a few miles to the east. Due to her small size, she was release where caught. Thanks, Dan and we hope you see #00137 again!

Marc Lanteigne, Peter Lawton and Michael Chadwick sampling Barleyfield Point transect at Lowell's Cove. Photo by Diane Cowan.
Michael Chadwick, Marc Lanteigne, and Peter Lawton -- a team of scientists from the Invertebrate Fisheries Division at the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans -- visited the site on September 8 to learn more about the intertidal lobster monitoring program. Although the tide was confounded by storm surge, Peter had much better luck seeing juvenile lobsters than on his 1995 visit owing to the choice of locations this time! (Peter helped out with the 1995 survey of Harpswell and happened to pick the sites where we did not find juveniles.) Bob Miller joined us later at Cook's Lobster House. By the way, have you seen Cook's on the VISA commercial on network television?

Volunteer Research
The brave volunteers learned a miserable lesson this month: mosquitos are voracious feeders -- even during downpours. It was a tough month for monitoring. The weather was not at all cooperative, the tides did not recede as low as predicted and -- at some sites -- few lobsters were found. Thank you for tolerating the rains.

Amy Watson sampled Cundy's Harbor, but, found only one lobster -- an unusual event for that site!

Corie Bibber's rain drenched data sheets from Little Harbor tell the tale of five lobsters. Pat Meisonheimer and Anna joined Corie to record data and help ward off the mosquitos.

Ned and Kathy Osolin picked a bright, sunny day for their census taking -- and found 15 lobsters along their transect! Many were sharing shelter with one or two other juveniles. The animals ranged in size from 16-74 mm CL and the yearling was found with a 3 or 4 year old.

In New Hampshire, Al Stewart and Bobbi Costello found nine lobsters on one day and twelve on another. Thanks for sending your detailed report of observations accompanied by the well-labeled map!
Pen Bay Volunteers Jane Roundy and Julie Wortman met with great success on the western shores of the bay. They found 15 lobsters to measure and saw others under rocks too large to overturn. Jane and Julie also reported settlement at their site! Congratulations on finding the smallest lobsters yet uncovered during the 1998 season on the shores of Penobscot Bay.
Eggemoggin Reach search sites on Deer Isle. Photo by Diane Cowan.
Others, please send your September data -- even if you didn't find any lobsters.

Penobscot Bay Project

This month TLC's efforts in Penobscot Bay involved recruitment of volunteers on Vinalhaven and at Stonington, Deer Isle. Vinalhaven volunteers were trained on Lanes Island on Thursday, September 10. We found one lobster along our transect and four others at random. Training will continue on Vinalhaven October 8th and 9th.

Those interested in monitoring lobsters on Deer Isle attended a talk at the local High School on Monday, September 21st. Leroy Bridges, President of the Downeast Lobstermen's Association, has agreed to ferry volunteers in his skiff to locate survey sites on October 4th.

The level of interest in the project is encouraging and we look forward to continued expansion. Many thanks to the Island Institute for supporting the expansion of the Intertidal Lobster Monitoring Program to Pen Bay.


Hunting for young lobsters on Vinalhaven. Larry Hughes, Stevie Mesko, Susan Dempster, and Karol Kucinski. Photo by Diane Cowan.


Bill MacDonald and Deanna Jaroche load gear on The Raven for the trip to Vinalhaven. Photo by Diane Cowan.

Larry Hughes, Bill MacDonald, Susan Dempster, and Karol Kucinski are working through a quadrat at Vinalhaven. Photo by Diane Cowan.
Community Education
Invited Lectures
In addition to the volunteer recruitment talks at Vinalhaven and Stonington, Diane gave lectures at colleges and universities during September. More than 70 people filled the lecture hall at Colby College the evening of September 16th. The talk was preceded by a splendid supper shared with Colby students and faculty where conversations touched on career moves, fisheries management and policies, general biology and ecology.

About thirty people -- including two Long Island lobstermen and a New York lobster biologist -- turned out for the presentation hosted by the Women's Aquatic Network at SUNY Stony Brook on September 23rd. Board member, Adria Elskus made the introduction and promoted TLC's Adopt-a-Lobster Program and showed off our caps at the event. Diane appeared before another 30 scientists at Rutger's University where her brother -- Professor Robert M. Cowan -- gave a heartwarming introduction. Afterward, Diane visited with Professors at Rutgers and toured Bob's enormous Laboratory of Environmental Engineering.

The final September event was staged at Burcham Hills in Lansing, Michigan on September 28th, where the 50 curious minds included Diane's mom and her grandpa George E. Geier.

Fund Raising Highlights
The Adopt-a-Lobster program generated more funds this month and continues to contribute to TLC's mark and recapture studies.

Caps were a popular item for attendees of the WAN talk! Lobsterman, James King may be spotted wearing his while hauling traps out of Long Island Sound.

Upcoming Events
October 9, 10: Sea & Shore Conference at the Samoset Resort. Diane will be participating in the panel discussion entitled "Estuaries, Wetlands and Birds: A Status Report" from 1:30-3:00 p.m. on Friday afternoon.

October 15-17: Fish EXPO Boston. Board members Alex Loer, Carl Anderson, and Tom Archambault are all planning to attend and help staff TLC's booth.

Hope to see some of you these events!

Other News

On September 11th and 12th, Diane enjoyed a retreat hosted by the New England Grassroots Environmental Fund on Thompson's Island in Boston Harbor. The participants and guest speakers were an inspiration to be treasured. New friends and colleagues were gathered together. Visit the NEGEF web site for more details.

Participants in the NEGEF retreat. Photo by Diane Cowan.

Our NEGEF leader: Cheryl King Fischer and her colleague. Photo by Diane Cowan.

The Lobster Conservancy also had three recent appearances in the press: Portland Press Herald, The Baltimore Sun, and Working Waterfront. The articles will be posted by board member/webmaster Kari Lavalli soon on the Press Coverage page at TLC's web site.

Yours in TLC and Friendship,

Sara Ellis, Executive Director and Diane Cowan, Senior Scientist

TLC News