Monday, 19 June 2017 18:33

Lobster season off to slow start Featured

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BASS HARBOR - It's been an unusually cold start to the summer on the coast of Maine, and it's not just impacting your day at the beach.

The weather is directly affecting Maine's most famous food, and the men and women who make a living catching it.

 

June this year in has acted more like April; warm days followed by cold ones. And while it may be t-shirt weather above sea level, the water takes more consistency.

 

"We get some warm days, and the surface temperature will come up," said fisherman Jim Dow. "But we haven't had steady warm weather for the water temperature to actually acclimate on bottom."

 

Jim Dow has been fishing for decades. He's knows what lobsters want, and where they feed, but he can't control what the cold does to a creature's appetite.

 

"They're not coming to the traps, and they're not as aggressive as they normally are when the water temperature warms up," added Dow. "They're not trapping as well as they normally do, or have in the past few years."

 

Lobster is Maine's largest fishing industry, and Maine is the country's largest lobster supplier. Right now prices are holding steady, which is good for business. But it's a different story with bait. Dow says he paid $25 per-bushel of herring, using up to ten bushels in a day. Now, the price has risen to $45 per-bushel.

 

In addition, he says he's caught 30% fewer lobsters than in June of 2016. But fishermen are patient by nature; Dow and a handful of other boat captains in Bass Harbor tell FOX22 they hope to make up in the fall what they're losing this summer.

David Guildford

Weekend Anchor/Reporter
[email protected]

David joined the news team in March of 2017. First and foremost he is a proud Mainer. Before reporting for ABC7 and FOX22, he interned at WLBZ2 in Bangor, and attended the University of Maine's journalism program.

David was raised in the western Maine foothills, and has been a lifelong viewer of local Maine news. He hopes to bring this perspective to telling the stories of folks in the community.

When not on the job, David enjoys skiing, snowmobiling, spending time at the family camp on Branch Lake, and playing slow-pitch softball with the other Bangor gym class heroes.