Seconds after Richard Sawyer Jr. steered his lobster boat Just In Time to his dock at Jupiter Point in Groton Thursday, his son and grandson began carrying armloads of empty wire traps onto shore.


"Just start stacking them four or five high over there," said Sawyer, directing his two-man crew, clad in identical orange bib pants to match their nearly identical names - Richard Sawyer III and Richard Sawyer IV.


That afternoon, they would empty their boat's hold of 140 of the traps the family set this year in the part of Long Island Sound known as The Race, netting just 110 legal-sized lobsters from the haul, which they'll sell to wholesalers for $3.50 to $4.75 per pound.


"What we catch now in a week I used to catch in a day," said the eldest Sawyer, 71, who's been a lobsterman since the 1960s. "The last really big year was 1999, and since 2005 it's really been going down."


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