Lobster Young of the Year Settlement Survey

Background
The RI young of the year lobster settlement survey began in 1990 and is part of the larger North Atlantic lobster settlement index program. Young of the year refers to those lobsters that are in their first year of life but typically older than the larval stage. The purpose of the survey is to monitor the newly settled lobster populations to better understand the relationships between adult spawning stocks, egg production, larval settlement, and overall fishery health. The data collected is used in stock assessments to forecast recruitment into the fishery.

Survey Design
The RI portion of the survey samples 6 fixed stations that are surveyed with twelve random 0.5m quadrats annually.

Survey Gear
Lobsters are collected by SCUBA divers from 0.5m quadrants using airlift suction. The quadrat contains a mesh apron to minimize escapment during the sampling.

Sampling Methods
SCUBA divers arrive on site and randomly select 12 quadrats to sample. Quadrats are laid out and the air lift suction device is used to collect the sample. All lobsters are sexed, measured, and counted to develop relative densities of lobsters/square meter.

All other crustaceans and finfish collected are counted and measured. Additionally the habitat of each quadrat is recorded.

Sampling Frequency
Lobsters are sampled at each of the 6 stations annually in late August through early September.

Sampling Locations:

map of American Lobster sampling locations

For more information about the survey please contact Scott Olszewski