Monday, July 22, 2013

2013 Connecticut Blue Crab Report #5

From Tim Visel at "The Search for Megalops":

The Sound School – The ISSP and Capstone Project Proposal

Building a Network of Citizen Monitors
The Connecticut Blue Crab Population Habitat Study 2010-2015
You Do Not Need To Be A Scientist To Report! 

The Search for Megalops 

Megalops Report #5 

July 15, 2013 

The 2013 Blue Crab Year
·         Crabbers Find Large Crabs In Central Connecticut
·         The 2012 Megalops Set Is Missing 
·         Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut Agencies Share Blue Crab Data
·         Increased Rainfall, Heat and Sapropel Habitats
·         Lobster Populations In Eastern Long Island Sound - A Recent Look At Shell Disease
Crabbers Find Large Crabs In Central Connecticut 

Crabbing improved in central Connecticut as difficult crabbing conditions also continued.  “They are here,” were some of the comments at the Connecticut River Baldwin Bridge Fishing Pier July 10.  Some 50 wing wall box traps were set and many large crabs observed.  Catch rates are also higher 10 to 15 crabs per hour but only at the higher tides.  Low tide crabbers found brown water and much lower catches.  In the Indian River in Clinton several crabbers found only small crabs on the ebb tide, but on the incoming tide the brown water was still on the surface flowing out.

In several places I noticed what happened last year after a heavy rain; crabs would hook up to the bait but as soon as an effort was made to lift them up off the bottom, they let go.  At lower tides and especially on the ebb crabs tend to become lethargic and burrow into the bottom waiting for a fresh tidal exchange of saline oxygen rich water.  This was also observed last year later (see report #8 August 16 2012). In the Oyster River I observed much the same; hookups were frequent but as the bait pulled a release.  Higher tides seemed much better for hand liners. 

Some positive signs include strong numbers of the 3 to 4 inch crabs which seem to be increasing in some of the deeper dredged areas and some of the first reports from eastern Connecticut have come in. Some of the areas that seem to be good year after year have crabs again, Jordan Cove, Middle Alewife Cove, north of Masons Island  (Mystic River) and Bakers Cove (by DEEP boat ramp).  One Eastern CT report of concern was of a blue crab die off in the middle basin of the Poquonock River, Groton.  It could be freshwater poisoning or sulfide toxicity -not certain. Warm water die-offs in Eastern CT this early in the season would be rare but not impossible. 

The North Atlantic Oscillation horseshoe shaped storm track shows no sign of weakening (Report #2 May 15, 2013). The amount of moisture being pushed up the eastern seaboard is now record-breaking for many southern communities and flooding is occurring in coastal watersheds. The amount of organic debris being washed downstream across Connecticut is enormous.

Old Lyme and the lower Connecticut River are still reporting the most frequent, largest catches. 

See you at the docks, 

 Tim Visel 

The 2012 Megalops Set Is Missing?

The question of the impact of a tremendous increase in energy and a long bitter winter upon the Blue Crab (1 inch to 2 inch size) I believe has been answered, it’s deadly. It is becoming clearer what happened when a series of this type of Fall/Winter are combined back to back over several continuous years – it would greatly reduce Blue Crab populations, as several long term population studies now show.  

However, a good number of 2011 Megalops (now 3 to 4 inches) survived the hurricane and long winter and a good population of older legal size (2012) crabs also survived. Blue Crabs here in some sections of central Connecticut this August and fall should be very good – but not “great”. Concerns are for next year as we just don’t see the 1 to 2 inch size in any great numbers (if anybody has seen them, drop me a line). Several Clinton harbor crabbers have observed that the smallest crabs appear to be “missing” this year. One report obtained Monday did mention seeing some- about 60, and that would be a very good sign.

Last July I watched thousands of 2 inch crabs entering the Connecticut River at night. This year I have seen three – two live and one dead. Other crabbers have mentioned this also. This was a much different July than last year (Report #6 July 19, 2012). The coves and bays really took a pounding last winter and besides Hurricane Sandy we had several powerful gales and upper New York state had snow in May.  

The Blue Crab years of 2007 and 2010 were great and shell fishers in both years reported huge numbers of 2 inch crabs swarming over clam and oyster recreational and commercial areas. In April and May these 2 inch crabs were everywhere it seems then and easily caught with silversides in minnow seines along the open beach front. Not this year.  

But this situation is not new to the Western Connecticut crabbers – for those areas it looks like all the year sizes are gone and almost no new reports from the western sections. For them it is now the third year of a poor July. Crabbing was good in western Connecticut until July 26, 27, 28 of 2011 (see August 2, 2011 Report #12). After two days of heavy rains, crabbers reported “rushing torrents of brown water- hot brown water no less”. The impact was most noticeable with the 1 inch to 2 inch crab size with many die-off’s reported and it did impact the remaining Blue Crab season. The western sections would never recover to the abundance levels of 2010. The few crabs spotted in 2012 (July 9, 2012 report) did not hold past the summer.  

We may still see 1 inch crabs in large numbers but it would be in September. If so, a Megalops set would need to happen in Connecticut soon. With all the fresh water now in moving streams, that may now be difficult. The next few weeks will have much to do with how we enter the 2014 Blue Crab year.  The weather it seems will have the largest impact upon our Megalops potential. Any reports of large numbers of 2 inch crabs would be a positive sign in any area. 

Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut Agencies

Share Blue Crab Data 

I want to thank you, Derek Perry (MASS Division Marine Fisheries), Penny Howell (CT DEEP Marine Fisheries) and Rhode Island DEM (Division of Fish & Wildlife Marine Fisheries) in the 2013 Management Plan for the Crustacean Fishery Sector for providing blue crab survey data regarding blue crab populations.  The key period is 1998-2000, the time which crabbers in Connecticut first noticed a steady increase in blue crab populations.  This change 1998-2000 is also apparent in the Rhode Island URI Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) Trawl Survey of Narragansett Bay.

The Rhode Island survey is the longest running dating back to 1898 during The Great Heat itself.  At that time Rhode Island fishery managers were concerned about the dramatic decrease in cold water species (mostly lobsters) and increases in warm water species (tropical fish).  Since 1959 the Rhode Island survey has focused upon a Narragansett Bay wide trawl net survey.  The Connecticut survey dates back to a trawl net survey beginning in 1976 but at one time Connecticut conducted a statewide seine survey but my records indicate that ceased in 1958.   

The Massachusetts survey is a mixture of both inshore seine surveys of its southern facing salt ponds and a general trawl net survey.  It also has been conducted for several decades. 

Many Southern New England fisheries have experienced dramatic increases or decreases in abundance during the past century nearly all of which have a suspected temperature and energy link. 

Two sides of a habitat suitability curve or index is present as it warms and energy decreases and as it cools and energy increases.  If a marine organism has a habitat suitability profile that is strongly “one sided” then wide swings in climate and energy cycles should show these habitat events.  These events represent abundance and the differences in habitat quality are what that makes that abundance possible. 

Many feel that the rapid rise in Connecticut lobster landings late 1980s indicated a habitat suitability that favored adults, not juveniles.  The very shallow near shore areas would tend to warm up the fastest and it these same areas that were important to small lobsters (kelp/cobblestone). We may be seeing the same thing for blue crabs only to see habitat failure if in fact energy levels remain high and temperatures continue to fall, the colder 2010-2011 winter seemed to limit blue crabs in the east and central sections in 2011.  By the time blue crabs hit the Connecticut River the first week of July 2011 “the wave” was weak and barely noticeable.  In 2012 the wave of crabs that hit the Connecticut River was huge and similar to those noticed decades before entering salt ponds in Rhode Island – Jeffries in his 1966 study of Rhode Island Salt Ponds even termed it as “waves”.  Some Rhode Island reports from 2010 describe this movement east along the Rhode Island south shore from little Narragansett Bay and the Pawcatuck River east – a few reports were from SCUBA divers who were surprised to see so many blue crabs traveling in a uniform way on the bottom during the day.  Blue crab movements as waves may not be a new Southern New England behavior just one that occurs when they are extremely abundant. 

I do appreciate the several emails about the Connecticut and Massachusetts data and combined with the Rhode Island survey all show dramatic blue crab prevalence (upswing) between 1998 and 2000, and a larger upswing 2009-2010.  The surveys also show periodic “spikes” but all three show similar spikes from 1998-2000 and 2009-2010.  Some condition or habitat index was favorable in all three states at the same time.  The Rhode Island data shows the largest change in abundance of blue crabs 1998-2000 since the trawl survey started in 1959.  The Massachusetts and Connecticut show frequent spikes and it looks like I missed some good blue crabbing in 1980-81.  The 2009-2010 upswings were large and record breaking for Rhode Island. Many feel that the 2010 Blue Crab season in Connecticut was the best one in a century.  

What I feel is important is while southern Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut surveys recorded increased blue crab presence is when the lobster population was in a free fall.  Something that was happening that made habitat conditions better for the blue crabs and deadly for the lobsters. The question that blue crabbers often ask – will it last? Referring to the increase of crabs shown by Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut data in recent surveys. The short answer is, I’m not certain. The historical review tells a different story- every warm period has been followed by a colder storm filled period and during the transition decade-wide swings in temperature and energy occur- hurricanes followed by blizzards are often recorded.  

According to my research, 2004 stated a similar transition period, extreme hot/cold and a gradual increase in storms. Colder and stormier periods are first picked up in the bay scallop fishery- they have such a short life span and also the blue crab. That is why long term surveys such as these previously mentioned above are so important in learning more about their natural patterns.  That habitat link may in fact be Sapropel – a jelly like organic compost, acidic and damaging to winter flounder and bay scallops.  As bay scallop sets were declining oyster sets were improving, as lobster fishers pulled up empty lobster pots a new generation of blue crabbers found their catches soar.  A habitat reversal of that not seen in a century was happening in Southern New England. A long term look at environmental history including climate, landings and storm data may unlock a puzzle that has long plagued fishery management efforts, “Is it habitat or is it overfishing?” 

Increased Rainfall, Heat and Sapropel Habitats 

Black mayonnaise (Sapropel) has been attributed to declining inshore fish, and shellfish habitat quality (Boston Globe article, 11/26/11) and accelerating nitrogen pollution Conservation Law Foundation report 10/30/2011.  Coastal residents in many southern New England states now reference it as bottom changes. Its cyclic buildup is part of a natural process now linked to shedding excess nitrogen – ammonia compounds during high heat. The changes in bottom habitats in the 1980s were first observed by fishers, and necrotic fin rot, in winter flounder.  Shell fishers then noticed declining bivalve sets and changes in bottom pH and smells would be minor to the enhanced sulfur reduction/nitrogen storage processes people couldn’t see. The increase in sulfur gas would be associated to the “marsh stinks” a century ago.  In recent times, the hydrogen sulfide gas of low oxygen reducing environments would create long periods of low oxygen and under the proper conditions create hydrogen sulfide “fish kill” toxic events, the “black water death” of the last century.  But, Sapropel buildup is not a new occurrence and many of the first layers of Sapropel were found beneath eelgrass meadows. There are two basic types of Sapropel, forming and ancient.  Sapropel can occur in cycles (such as today) much lower amounts from storms that tend to wash it from coves (see Megalops Report #3, June 12) or warm storm free periods in which it tends to accumulate. 

Ancient Sapropel is found in deep marine seas and the bottom of lakes.  It has over thousands of years become a organic rich high nitrogen material that when applied on farm fields especially cereal and vegetable crops can increase crop yields 30% to 75%. (Reference Lakes Bottom Deposits and Their Economic Value In Industrial Agriculture Sector Off Western Siberia 2011; Tatiana N. Serebriakova, Ph.D. or et al. University of Connecticut). Sapropel is now recognized worldwide for its ability to bank or store (sink) nitrogen compounds. This ability has not gone unnoticed and Sapropel has caught the attention of a growing worldwide organic natural food constituency who consider it to be a natural formed fertilizer supplement for artificial ones.  

Most Sapropel forms at the deepest most oxygen deficient areas of lakes and ocean basins.  The absence of oxygen is a key ingredient for Sapropel formation. But in the marine environment in high heat Sapropel becomes deadly and zones of oxygen depletion often have soft Sapropel bottom deposits.  A shallow water estuary can often have sea grass (eelgrass) environments important to blue crab and other crabs species over it.  It is a habitat type that can be influenced by rainfall.  Large amounts of organic matter such as sticks, bark, leaves and dead grasses washing into shallow warm estuaries quickly can rot and decrease water exchange. Sapropel tends to absorb heat; soft patches of it with eelgrass were significantly warmer than sandy clear areas in surveys of Niantic Bay in the 1980s.  In areas of “black mayonnaise” it was hot and seemed to drive colder-preferring species away from it.  Many blue crabbers experienced Sapropel and most likely did not realize it at the time.  It can get deep in slowing moving current flows in shallow areas. Several kayakers have had some close calls as well, believing bottoms to be firm only to find themselves stuck in “soupy black muck”. 

Sapropel has the following characteristics: it is acidic, black, jelly-like and often feels greasy to the touch.  When disturbed it has a slight sulfur (match stick) odor and will, because of its low pH, quickly stain your hands.  Because of its high sulfur content it is now suspected to be the source of the yellow coloring of the older yellow faced blue crabs (perhaps from overwintering?).  In high heat Sapropel can be damaging in many ways; it can shed ammonia during sulfur reduction processes, a brown (HAB) algal nutrient.  It produces both hydrogen sulfide gas (the marsh “stinks” of the last century) and sulfuric acid, and removes any oxygen for organic respiration in contact with water.  Because of its tendency to form a jelly-like substance, it tends to collect in slow moving currents away from direct energy pathways; it can be found in the quiet upper reaches of coves and bays.   

Fishers first noticed Black Mayonnaise in the early 1980s – especially bay scallopers. The increase of black mayonnaise was very alarming to the Hyannis Bay fishers on Cape Cod in the early 1980s as they had never seen it before become so thick so fast.  Fishers who fished in Lewis Bay were the ones to correctly identify its source as deep brown waves of organic debris (sticks, stems, dead grass) – called oatmeal which in high heat turned black.  In times of heat, a sudden rainstorm (or storm for that matter) could disturb these putrefied deposits releasing hydrogen sulfide and causing the large fish kills (black water deaths) from the past century.  It was the Cape Cod fishers who found in places several feet of organic oatmeal that would turn black in August heat (1983).  

This is the same oxygen deprived substance that collects in closed system aquaculture systems and makes changing filters (which also turn black with the same sulfur odors in them) in restricted air spaces so dangerous.  The toxicity of such Sapropel formation and toxic hydrogen gas would cause tragedy at the University of Maine with aquaculture technicians (July 2002).  Sapropel and the toxic sulfide formation can be very deadly not only to sea creatures but to us as well.[1] 

The increase of Sapropel coverage of estuaries is the largest indicator of habitat change in the past century.  The fishers on Cape Cod in the 1980s were right to be concerned about the formation of Sapropel, it would go on to devastate the bay scallop, quahog and winter flounder habitats within a decade.  The increase in Blue Crab habitat quality was just beginning but as Sapropel accumulated its impact upon blue crabs would be accumulated by heavy rains – it is those times that hydrogen sulfide is washed from it – the black water death of the last century. Heavy Sapropel layers can be damaging to blue crabs as well. The heavy rains this spring could influence habitat quality into negative areas for the blue crab and we may have seen that happen in July 2011 – western Connecticut. 

Lobster and Winter Flounder  

If organic composts (Sapropel) is a key link to habitat reversals we should look to other species.

Sapropel and a fungus Saprolegnia is now linked to the winter flounder fin rot disease of the 1980s.  And what locations showed the first signs of fin rot, they would be quiet coves and in low energy areas in which black mayonnaise first collected.  Organic material is rich in bacteria and fungus and some of the first concerns come from lobsters caught over sewage sludge at the 105 mile off shore New York dumpsite.  At the 1977 Rhode Island Fishermen Forums (once sponsored by Rhode Island Sea Grant), Jake Dykstra held up lobsters caught from the 105 mile dump site with shell disease.  I had started lobstering in Long Island Sound in 1967 and had never seen anything like that.  By 1982 the New Haven Harbor was showing winter flounder caught in the Morris Cove section had fin rot in 22% of the sampled winter flounder.  It is a low energy area and offshore surveyed areas in higher energy zones at the same time showed much lower prevalence[2].  In high heat both fungus and bacteria thrive and in low oxygen marine environments this compost (black mayonnaise) quickly becomes Sapropel. 

In the New England lobster fishery, shell disease first occurred historically in lobster pounds – enclosures in tidal creeks and salt ponds in which lobsters were “wet stored” like cattle pens to be sold at high prices in times of short market supply.  These “pens” held lobsters for several months and fed, as usually poorly flushed bacteria and sludge soon built up on the bottom of these storage areas (personal observations, 1977).  Bacteria in warm weather thrived and massive August lobster pound mortalities are documented in the fisheries literature.  What was happening in a small habitat way would soon impact all of Southern New England, as energy (storms) slowed, and organic matter rotted in high heat – what Peconic Bay and Great South Bay fishers described to me decades ago – bay bottoms just turned black and went soft.  With increasing heat into the 1980s, Sapropel deposits grew in poorly flushed coves, a habitat failure occurred first for winter flounder and later for lobsters.  A key ingredient it seems was warmth, the warmer waters to the south had higher incidence of lobster shell disease than cooler waters to the north (Cobb Castro 2006). 

Shell disease hit lobsters hard in Buzzards Bay in 1997, but stopped short of Maine waters (thought to be to cool).  In 1998 the incidence of shell disease soared in the southern New England region as lobster stocks crashed.  Shell disease is still with us – as the next section illustrates.     

For more information about Sapropel, see “Sapropel and Climate Change – Fisheries Habitats Degraded by Putrefied Organic Debris in High Heat, Low Energy Conditions” available from the Sound School Adult Education program. Contact Sue Weber ( 

Lobster Shell Disease: A Grim Reminder of a Habitat Failure 

The May 15, 2013 newsletter #2 contained a report by one of our Sound School students, Cole London, regarding his blue crab research in Barnegat Bay. In this issue, research regarding lobster shell disease conducted by Tyler Greco, a Sound School student, and co-author Tim Verastegui, a student at Windham High School, is presented. The research took place at Project Oceanology Ocean Diversity Institute (ODI) during Session 2 July 22- August 17, 2012. It’s one of the few recent reports of shell disease based upon field work that I have come across in several years, a quick snap shot look that also has a historical section, looking back over previous summer ODI sessions. We have had several Sound School students attend this excellent program at Project Oceanology. Thanks Tyler for mentioning it to me recently!  

A large thank you to Kirsten Tomlinson of Project Oceanology for sending this article to us and for approving the article and its publication in this newsletter.  

Tim Visel


Project Oceanology ODI – Session 2, July 22 – August 17, 2012 

Tyler Greco-The Sound School
Tim Verastegui – Windham High School
(Figures and charts deleted due to space limitations) 

The Ocean Diversity Institute was funded by the Connecticut State Department of Education Office of Educational Equity through the Interdistrict Cooperative Grants Program. 


This study is about the health and population of lobsters in Long Island Sound. Lobsters belong to the subphylum of Crustacea, which is a part of the Arthropod phylum. Crustaceans have several jointed appendates, an exoskeleton, and segmented bodies. Lobsters live in rocky environment s and cool waters. Long Island Sound is an estuary; an estuary is where fresh water from the rivers mix with saltwater from the ocean, creating brackish water. Lobsters are studied because they are important to commercial fishermen and marine biologists. They are also essential to their ecosystem because of their place in the food web. They are predators as well as scavengers because they look on the bottom for dead and decaying creatures, and also eat fish and crabs.

The legal lobster size has a minimum of 86 millimeters; anything smaller is illegal and must be thrown back. A fine will be issued if lobsters smaller than 86 millimeters are kept.

Shell disease is caused by a bacterium that attacks from the outside of the lobster through its shell (Marceau and Mistry, 2011). It only affects the shell and the carapace at first but over time it starts creating internal damage (Marceau and Mistry, 2011). Shell disease keeps the lobster from milting and may cause death if it is severe. The four stages of shell disease are: Stage 0: no symptoms; Stage 1: 1%-10% coverage of its shell; Stage 2: 11%-50% coverage; Stage 3: more than 50% coverage of the shell.

Based on Marceau and Mistry’s past studies, it is expected that fewer lobsters will be caught throughout this study than in 2009 because the population of lobsters has been decreasing for the past several years. In 2006, Payne and Rice (2006) caught 423 lobsters over a three-week period. At the peak of the lobster fishery in 2009, Estrin and Wiseman (2009) caught 759 lobsters over 15 days. In 2011, Marceau and Mistry (2011) caught 493 lobsters over a three-week period.

In comparison to previous studies, it is expected that a smaller percentage of lobsters with shell disease will be found than last year. It is also expected that mostly sublegal sized lobsters will be found because of the proximity of the pots to the shoreline. Previous studies show that more male lobsters were caught than female lobsters, so it is hypothesized that more males than females will be caught (Marceau and Mistry, 2011). 


Ten lobster pots were set out in Long Island Sound on July 30, 2012 (Fig.1). Seven of the lobster pots were placed along the Avery Point shoreline and three lobster pots were placed around Pine Island. The pots were pulled July 31, August 1 through August 10 and rebaited each time. The pots soaked overnight except over the weekend when the pots soaked for two days.

All lobsters and by-catch were removed from the pots and measured to the nearest millimeter using calipers. The lobsters were measured from the eye socket to the end of the carapace. The crabs were measured from one side of the shell to the other side of the shell. Gender was also determined for the lobsters and other by-catch such as crabs. All lobsters were checked for shell disease using the shell disease index. After all the lobsters and by-catch were measured, they were released back into Long Island Sound. 


During this study, a total of 284 lobsters were caught. Pot 2, off of Pine Island, caught most lobsters with a total of 46 individual. Pot 4, near Avery Point caught the least lobsters with a total 12 individual.

The majority of the lobsters were caught without shell disease. Eighty four percent of the lobsters exhibited no signs of shell disease, while only 12% of the lobsters had a shell disease index (SSDI) of 1. Three percent of the lobsters had Stage 2 shell disease and only 1% of the lobsters had Stage 3 shell disease.

Ninety lobsters were caught within the range from 70-79.9 millimeters; this was also the highest amount of lobsters caught in any other size class. The second highest size class consisted of 59 lobsters ranging from 60-69.9 millimeters.

Ninety-three percent of the lobsters caught were sublegal. Therefore 93% of the total lobsters caught were smaller than 86 millimeters. Only 7% of the lobsters caught were legal size. Out of the 284 lobsters were males and 96 of the lobsters caught were females.

The lobster population in Eastern Long Island Sound has decreased since its peak in 2009 when a total of 759 lobsters were caught. The lobster population in 2011 was reduced to 493 while 284 lobsters were captured this year. 

It was expected that fewer lobsters would be caught this year compared to previous years. Fewer lobsters were caught this year than in 2006, 2009 and 2011. The population is still recovering from the die off in 1998-1999 from shell disease. Another possible explanation for the decrease in population is an increase in water temperature because the lobsters thrive in cool water. 

It was expected that a smaller percentage of lobsters with shell disease would be caught compared to lobsters without shell disease. This hypothesis was supported; 44 lobsters with shell disease ranging from stages 1-3 were caught compared to 240 lobsters without shell disease. Although shell disease is spreading across the Northeast coastal areas, a small percentage of lobsters with shell disease were found (Somers, 2005). Thirty percent of lobsters in Long Island Sound and Southern New England have shell disease. If the sample time was increased more lobsters with shell disease may have been captured. 

It was expected that more sublegal sized lobsters would be caught than legal sized lobsters. This hypothesis was supported because there were 263 sublegal lobsters and 21 legal sized lobsters captured. Commercial lobstermen have been removing legal sized lobsters from the environment and that is why the results show more sublegal sized lobsters were captured. 

The last hypothesis stated more male lobsters than female lobsters would be caught. During this study 188 male lobsters and 96 females were caught, supporting this hypothesis. Male lobsters like to stay in shallow waters unlike females with eggs. Mature females migrate to deeper waters than males (Factor, 1995). That may be why only 1 female with eggs was caught.

This study is important because lobsters are an essential part of the ecosystem as well as impacting the food chain. The lobster fishery is important both economically and because it provides a food source. The lobster industry also provides jobs for many people. 


Estrin, N., and N, Wiseman. 2009 Lobster Populations in Eastern Long Island Sound. SMSP 2009 session 3, Project Oceanology, Groton, Ct

Marceau, J., and H. Mistry. 2001. Lobster Populations in Eastern Long Island Sound. SMSP 2011, Session 3, Project Oceanology, Groton, CT

Payne, C., and J. Rice. 2006. Lobster Populations in Eastern Long Island Sound. SMSP 2006, Session 3, Project Oceanology, Groton, CT. 


The staff and students of the 2012 Project Oceanology Ocean Diversity Institute Session 2 wish to thank the following for their generous support:

Pfizer Incorporated

Russell Smith, Project Oceanology

Ian Morrison, Project Oceanology

The families of the staff and students



Every observation is valuable as we learn more about our blue crab population. 

Email blue crab reports to:  

The Search for Megalops is part of a Project Shellfish/Finfish Student/Citizen Monitoring Effort Supported by a 2005 grant to The Sound School from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant #2005-0191-001.

Program reports are available upon request. 

For more information about New Haven Environmental Monitoring Initiative or for reports please contact Susan Weber, Sound School Adult Education and Outreach Program Coordinator- Email: 

The Sound School is a Regional High School Agriculture Science and Technology Center enrolling students from 23 participating Connecticut communities.

[1] See Bangor Daily News July 31, 2002 – A sealed Aquaculture System used to recycle water for Halibut culture experiment had tested positive for hydrogen sulfide. The sludge had built up enormous hydorgen sulfide levels in the organic matter and when disturbed released toxins heavier than air that smell “similar to rotten eggs”.
[2] Incidence of Fin Necrosis In Winter Flounder, Pseudopleuronectes Americanus (Walbaum), from New Haven, Peter J. Auster, The University of Connecticut Marine Sciences Institute, Marine Research Laboratory, P.O. Box 278, Noank, CT 06340. Report to Schooner, Inc., 60 South Water Street, New Haven, CT 06519 1981 

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