The use of species habitat suitability (HS) modelling is increasing as an approach in detecting important areas in integrated coastal zone management. European lobster (Homarus gammarus) is currently listed as near threatened in the Norwegian red list, according to IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) criteria. Past management regimes were insufficient to rebuild the lobster population after a considerable decline that mainly occurred in the 1960s and -70s. Catch per unit effort (CPUE) has indicated rapid population increase in experimental lobster reserves in Skagerrak, suggesting that marine reserves can be an effective management tool in successful rebuilding efforts. In the process towards establishing full-scale marine reserves, new methods are addressed to supplement experimental fishing surveys. This study reveals important topographical factors for lobster habitats through modelling of randomly designed experimental fishing. Bathymetric lope, depth and exposure were good environmental predictors for habitat suitability (HS). A HS map was generated to predict lobster habitats, hence possible areas for placing reserves. The data obtained were compared with local lobster fishers‟ placement of traps to assess local ecological knowledge and the possibility of using mapping of trap distribution as a tool to verify good lobster habitats. Based on the individuals sampled in the experimental fishing surveys a description of the lobster population demography in the municipality of Tvedestrand is given. Using lobster as a model, this contribution uncovers the potential of habitat suitability and LEK as a tool in the process of implementing marine reserves in coastal Skagerrak.