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

May 17, 1999

Dear Volunteers and Friends of The Lobster Conservancy,

Spring 1999 is upon us, and with that the beginning of the monitoring season for intertidal lobsters. Volunteers from New Hampshire, Harpswell, Muscongus Bay and Penobscot Bay are all set to go out on the May low tides. Thanks again to those of you who participated in previous years.

News from the Board of Directors
We are very pleased to report that TLC has received a grant of $2500 from the Maine Community Foundation to produce field handbooks for TLC's volunteers. The 50-page handbook was written by Diane Cowan, illustrated by Kohl Kanwit, and edited by Sara Ellis. It includes background information about TLC and the Intertidal Lobster Monitoring Program, facts on lobster biology, instructions on monitoring techniques, illustrations of lobsters and other marine organisms, sample data sheets, and a glossary of technical terms. The handbooks are hot off the presses and will be going out to old and new volunteers involved in the 1999 season. They will be a valuable training tool, and will assure standardized data collection across our many intertidal sites.

Diane has stepped down from her position as Leader of Biological Monitoring Division at Maine's Department of Marine Resources. She has accepted a prestigious Fellowship at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, that will start in the fall. Diane will be collaborating with Dr. Andrew R. Solow, Director of the Department of Marine Policy to analyze her long term data set from Lowell's Cove. In addition, she'll be working on important issues such as the disappearance of lobsters from certain areas such as Boston Harbor and inner bays of Casco Bay.

TLC Moves to Friendship
In May, TLC established an office on the mainland of Friendship, on the 3rd floor of the old Friendship Market. Our new address is P.O. Box 235, Friendship, Maine 04547 and our phone number is (207) 832-8224. Sara's and Diane's e-mail are still the same (sellis@lobsters.org and dcowan@lobsters.org.). Thanks go out to John Reichnach of Baltimore, Maryland, who helped us move in to the office during his vacation time in Maine.

TLC has moved to Friendship, Maine, a traditional fishing community in Muscongus Bay. Photo by Sara Ellis.

TLC's office is now located on the third floor of the old Friendship Market. Photo by Sara Ellis.

We are beginning to establish a presence at the Friendship Lobster Laboratory. For 1999, our focus will be on the lobster pound at Friendship Long Island, where we plan to set up pilot experiments on lobster growth and behavior. Diane plans to move out to the island in late May.

Back in February, Diane and Sara began mapping the pound using a hand-held GPS. Chris Brehme, GIS guru of the Island Institute, assisted in setting up the electronic data capture on the GPS, to include information on substrate type and water depth in addition to location. Eventually we plan to collect such data at all of our intertidal study sites, so that they can be mapped using GIS.

On May 8th, board member Carl Anderson and volunteer John Reichnach helped launch the boat donated by John Upton in Friendship Harbor. We may just have to christen her "Upton Girl"!

The acquisition of the Friendship properties has brought TLC to a new level of complexity and growth. We wish to thank Moe Bisson and David Erb of Berry, Dunn, McNeil and Parker (BDMP) of Portland for providing pro bono financial advice. We are also grateful to BDMP for preparing our 1998 tax return.

Moe has agreed to sit on the Board of Advisors for TLC, along with General Counsel Abe Steinberg, of Steinberg and Kennedy in Monsey, New York.

Research News
All volunteer data from 1998 has been entered into the computer and analyzed. Sara has written preliminary reports on the Harpswell project and New Hampshire. Let us know if you would like to receive a copy. We intend to do further analyses and eventually incorporate data from all sites into a single report.

Penobscot Bay Project
On March 18, Sara gave a presentation at a Round Table in Vinalhaven along with Rick Wahle, Bob Steneck, and Carl Wilson. Her talk summarized Pen Bay intertidal data from 1998. There she met up with John Van Ness who, along with his wife Ginger, volunteered at Lane's Island Beach last fall. They intend to continue monitoring on Vinalhaven in the 1999 season. On March 26, Sara was a guest on radio show called "Talk of the Towns" on WERU 89.9 FM Blue Hill 102.9 Bangor. The hour-long show focussed on the Penobscot Bay Collaborative Research Project, and was hosted by Ron Beard, University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant. Other guests included Carl Wilson and Ann Hayden of the Island Institute, Bob Steneck from University of Maine, and Steve Miller of the Islesboro Island Land Trust. Sara talked about TLC's involvement in the project and how volunteers are crucial to our work.

On April 18th and 19th Carl Wilson of the Island Institute and Sara went scouting for new intertidal island sites aboard Captain Corrie Roberts' vessel, the 'Alice Siegmund'.

Captain Corrie Roberts (left) and Carl Wilson (right) of the Island Institute provided logistical support for scouting trips in Pen Bay this April. Photo by Sara Ellis.

On the first day, Steve Miller provided local knowledge as we scouted around the southern tip of Islesboro with Danielle Toole of the Darling Marine Center (DMC). Although we did not find any intertidal lobsters on Islesboro, we found several sites that looked promising for later in the season.

Steve Miller helped scout for new monitoring sites on Islesboro. Photo by Sara Ellis.

Danielle Toole flipped many a rock in search of lobsters on Islesboro. Photo by Sara Ellis.

The next day, Diane Cowan managed to pull herself away from her study site in Lowell's Cove to help scout on Isle au Haut, along with Jess Stevens from DMC. There we met up with Kipp Quinby, local high-school student extraordinaire, who has volunteered to monitor Moore's Harbor this year. We found several juvenile lobsters at two sites (Moore's Harbor and Head Harbor), so Kipp is bound to have her hands full when the season kicks in.

Jess Stevens helped track down juvenile lobsters on Isle au Haut. Photo by Sara Ellis.

Kipp Quinby will be monitoring intertidal lobsters on Isle au Haut. Photo by Sara Ellis.
In mid May, Sara will be giving presentations and training new volunteers in Islesboro, Rockland, and North Haven. In mid June, she will head out to Monhegan and Matinicus, and other sites as time allows.

In March, TLC hosted a booth at the annual trade show of the Maine Fishermen's Forum. It was a great opportunity to talk to people about our scientific, volunteer and education programs. We met several prospective volunteers from the Penobscot Bay area including Vinalhaven, Rockport, and Deer Isle. We also had a chance to let people know more about the Friendship Lobster Laboratory, and we met up with Friendship neighbors-to-be including Sally and Walter Foster, and harbor master Kevin Benner. Special thanks go out to board member Alex Loer for the backdrop for our display, which he hand-delivered from Boston. Additional thanks go to Corie Bibber for manning the booth and telling people about her experiences as a volunteer for TLC, and to Chris Logan for helping out with the logistics at the booth. TLC and Diane Cowan made contributions to the Maine Fishermen's Forum Scholarship Fund to benefit a college student whose family is directly involved in the seafood industry.

In March, Sara gave a talk on careers in marine biology to 5 classes of 7th graders at Lewiston Middle School. The invitation came from Kelsey MacMillan of Bates College as part of her project to raise awareness of middle school children about careers in various fields. In May, Sara gave another talk on careers in marine biology to students in the Gifted and Talented program at the Harpswell Islands School, grades 4-6.

Upcoming Events
TLC has been invited to be part of an educational booth at the Maine Lobster Festival, August 4th to the 8th in Rockland. We are seeking volunteers to help out at our booth so that we all get a chance to take part in the entertainment which includes tons of steamed Maine lobsters, waterfront activities, maritime displays and demonstrations, Maine arts and crafts, and the international lobster crate race. If you're interested in manning TLC's booth at the Maine Lobster Festival, please call Sara at 832-8224.

Yours in TLC and Friendship,

Sara Ellis, Executive Director and Diane Cowan, Senior Scientist

TLC News