To the editor:

Having read the book “Lobsters Great and Small,” I would like to comment
on several parts of it. The book states that cod, which is a predator of lobsters,
largely disappeared from Penobscot Bay in the 40s, so the lobster boom that
started in the late 80s couldn’t be explained by the lack of cod because they
were gone two or three decades earlier. While there was a decline in the number
of cod in the 40s, it was a lot later on before they truly disappeared. There were
a lot of cod and other groundfish in the Vinalhaven area of Penobscot Bay until
the early 70s. In fact, Clyde Bickford had a fish plant from the 50s through the
mid 70s producing heavy salted cod. Some days he bought 50,000 lbs. of
groundfish. In the mid 60s, sport fishermen were still able to catch large cod in
close to Vinalhaven. In the late 60s and early 70s I used to go handlining with my
father and we would get a boat load of cod in the waters between Vinalhaven
and Seal Island. So it was only around a decade or so between the end of cod
and the beginning of the lobster boom.

The book talks about the statewide trap limit that was supposed to stop the
“arms race” of large strings of traps. While it did cut back the amount of traps the
big-time lobstermen fished, it allowed the small-time lobstermen to build their
strings up. My nephew had to take 400 traps out of the water, yet I have been
able to add 500 traps to my string and get to add 100 more traps next year. The
trap limit system seems to be more like Communism than conservation.
According to DMR records there were 2,590,471 trap tags issued in 1997 and
2,963,434 in 2001. So much for stopping the “arms race.”

Overall the book is quite interesting and a good read. The book also has
some great photos and maps.

–Eric Davis

Thanks from the Boardmans

To the editor:

… I would like to thank Bonnie Oldham for the wonderful care she took in
making the “Boardman story” into such a pleasing article in the May issue of your
Waterfront paper. It made quite a hit with our family, friends and acquaintances.

Next I must thank your staff for allowing so much space to be used for our
family story and “secrets”!

My dear husband, Paul, always looked forward to reading or having me read
the very informative and newsy articles in your paper, especially Bonnie’s great
stories of Islesboro.

My family and I are very proud of this story and extend our sincere thanks to
Bonnie and all involved in this publication.


Eileen S. Boardman