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Ask the Lobster Doc: A year in the life of a lobster (Part 1) – Lobsters in autumn

Over the last 23 years, The Lobster Conservancy and I have gathered data recording what lobsters are doing throughout the year using various methods, including:ask-the-lobster-doc-Cowan

•  Collecting data on locations and hourly temperatures directly recorded by eggers tagged in Friendship, ME who traveled as far as Cape Cod, MA;

•  Taking repeated monthly census of juvenile lobsters along shore at specific locations from Beals, ME to Scituate, MA; and

•  Recording daily behavioral observations using snorkel and SCUBA, dive slates, and underwater camera in Friendship Lobster Pound.

Using acoustic telemetry and attaching temperature data loggers directly to egg-bearing lobsters in the fall, The Lobster Conservancy
worked with a team of lobstermen tracking temperature and movement of egg bearing lobsters throughout the year.

We found that lobsters were at the same temperature as each other for a short while in late October and early November, but the rest of the time they were at different temperatures.

(Diane Cowan/The Lobster Conservancy graphics)

(Diane Cowan/The Lobster Conservancy graphic)

For example, one day in early December, the coldest lobster averaged 36°F while the warmest was in 50° water.

Why the big difference in temperature?

Some lobsters moved to deeper, warmer water in winter, while others stayed in shallow waters and did not move at all…

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