Graduate student Erin Wilkinson is collaborating with local anglers to study interactions between striped bass and lobsters off the coast of southern Maine. There is little data about striped bass diet in this region, but lobsters are often important prey for the species. Members of the Casco Bay Anglers Club, The Tackle Shop in Portland, and participants in local fishing tournaments have been providing striped bass stomach samples to support Erin's research on the importance of lobster to their diet.
Andy Nelson, President of the Casco Bay Anglers Club, said, "The Maine coast is at the end of striper migration from Chesapeake Bay, so subtle changes in the fishery are felt more exponentially in our waters. GMRI's research is critically important to coastal Maine anglers. We all want to understand and protect this resource."
Erin will conduct a lobster tether experiment on the water to determine whether striped bass are consuming only specific sizes of lobster. She is also planning a laboratory study to examine the effect of striped bass on lobster behavior. Erin is working on a master's degree at the University of New England and GMRI. Contact her at [email protected].