Welcome to the masses of lobster hunter arriving into town this week. I just wanted to put out some current information on conditions and what to expect. First and foremost, please be safe, legal, courteous and have a strong understanding that this is a fragile resource with limitations. Every year people die for lobster, go to jail for lobster and create a negative impact on the local community because they lose sight of what this is all about.
If you are just arriving, let me tell you it is nothing short of hot around here! We are in a significant drought and it has affected what is happening below the water. Current average water temperature is 86 degrees with 89 commonly found in the canals and inshore shallows. Water clarity is hit or miss with some days and tides are crystal clear and others the water is dirty and hot. I found a reverse hot thermocline a few days ago, where the surface water becomes superheated and more dense than the supporting water. It sinks to the bottom, forming a hot layer that kills corals and moves life around in unpredictable ways. Nothing that lives down there will tolerate water temps above 85 degrees, so who knows what the next few weeks will bring for conditions. The weather forecast looks great, so I see the water chemistry getting worse before it gets better. We are on a really, really hot pattern and I can’t even guess how far the resource can be stretched this year. Mini season should be fine, but after that is unknown. The reports from last week and what I have been seeing indicates all is well and we should see a strong opening to lobster season.
Preparing for your lobstering trip is critical to your comfort and success. Be prepared for a long day in the sun and getting in/out of the water continuously. Bring lots of sun protection, bring lots of drinks and check all of your equipment to ensure it is working properly. I ask that all of my new customers watch an hour of “how to catch lobster” videos on YouTube. Lobster are very quick and knowing what to look for and how to catch them shaves an hour off of the learning curve and gets you closer to landing your catch. This link to one of my video is an example of dozens that are available. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLS-1JT9ZTY . I watch so many of my new customers struggle for reasons that can be prevented.
Lobstering is a unique, fun and challenging activity that draws over 30,000 visitors here just for opening day. Extra consideration has to be given to each other and the environment you will be in. Our waters are a National Marine Sanctuary and being able to operate as we currently do requires us to be good ambassadors of this activity. Also, things on land are about to get crowded too. The marinas will have lines of boats waiting to get their needs met. Get your stuff and move on so we can all get what we need. Make sure you make reservations for dinner, drive nice in traffic and help each other instead of working for yourself. It all goes so well when we all play nice and by the same rules. I just have seen a trend and I can see where the future of this can be adversely affected by what we are doing now. I wish you all a safe and productive lobster season and many more! Please dial (888) 404-FWCC to report any violations you may see on the water or next door. The future depends on us acting responsibly.
Here are the current lobster regulations: http://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/lobster/
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