New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Lobster Tagging Project

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department in cooperation with the University of New Hampshire is in the process of trying to identify areas in New Hampshire state waters with aggregations of large reproductive female lobsters and track their movements.  Though we’ll be looking a variety of other information from this study, this is the major objective.  We’ll also be tagging smaller females and possibly some males so that we can compare their movements with the larger animals and identify if they’re undertaking seasonal migrations.

We hope to tag a total of 2400 lobsters by November of 2013.  Thus far (November 2012) we’ve tagged 700 lobsters and lobstermen have provided recapture information on approximately 100 lobsters.  We really want to spread the word so that fishermen will call us and report tagged lobsters.  This information will give us a better understanding of the movements associated with lobsters in the Gulf of Maine.  As an incentive for lobstermen to report tagged lobsters there will be a raffle held at the end of 2012, 2013 and 2014, three names will be chosen each year and winners of the raffle will be given a 50 dollar gift certificate to New England Marine Industrial or a Grunden’s  hooded sweatshirt.

Though we’re also very interested in finer scale movements within the State, perhaps our most interesting tag returns have come from other states.  We’ve had two lobsters that were caught near Portland Maine and had moved over thirty miles.  We’ve also had a few reports from fishermen in the Gloucester that have caught tagged lobsters in their traps.  Below you’ll find a Google Map showing the movement of a lobster that was tagged on 9/21/2012 near the Isles of Shoals and was recaptured on 11/12/2012 near Gloucester, it was estimated that this lobster moved approximately 22 miles.

If you catch a tagged lobster, we’re interested in the following information:

Date of Capture:
Latitude (Loran is fine):
Did Lobster have eggs:
New Shell or Old Shell:

Please Call New Hampshire Fish and Game at 603-868-1095 and ask for
Joshua Carloni or just e-mail me at 

Thanks for all your help!


3 thoughts on “New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Lobster Tagging Project

  1. So for a lobster to march 22 miles in roughly 50 days, that’s .44 miles per day, or .018 miles per hour = 95 feet per hour. This is 1.5 feet per minute! This is assuming the animal goes in a straight line (highly unlikely) and never stops (also unlikely). When you add it all up, it’s pretty speedy. Unless, of course, it’s also being pushed along by currents – or maybe it’s going against the currents too.


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