Editor's letter- January/February 2019

 My oldest son turned 45 last fall. It was one of those palm to forehead moments. I rang his number and congratulated him, “Ty, I never dreamed I’d have a child the same age as me.” For some weird reason, seems the inside of me, looking outward, doesn’t really recognize the outside, except for an occasional glance in a rear view mirror.

Maybe that’s part of aging. Maybe it’s denial. Maybe it’s 2019. Those numbers, what do they really mean? Just a few years ago, we were concerned with Y2K, and wondered if all the computers would go haywire, clocks wouldn’t convert, and our world would skip a beat. That was 19 years ago, folks. There’s a whole generation of people born since then, and some of them can vote.

Where am I going with this?

We have a new year to absorb, or it will absorb us.

Personally, I’m starting my 40th year as a private sector fisheries biologist—and pretty excited about that milestone. Many of us hope we can do something significant with our lives, and as we age, we realize there’s truly not a lot of time to do it. So, we push, we move, some of us raise kids—hopefully into productive citizens with opportunities to do something of value for society.

Significance will be my theme for 2019. Do something that matters. One of my favorite things about this magazine is knowledge shared to help people become better stewards of their land and water. While that seems like a little thing, it’s not. It’s significant. What you do to make your property better will be a part of your legacy. It will be something you pass on and pay forward. I’ll always remember, way back when I started in business, most people with ponds lived on the land and did what they could to make a living off it, primarily running small family farms, big ranches, or agribusinesses. Those people did what they could to make a living. Quite a few had a job in the small-town bank, maybe had a retail business on the town square and fed cattle every evening. Those great people pushed the land to produce. Today, it’s quite different. Many farms are corporate. Most people who own small tracts, especially those who live in the city and bought those family farms in the country, are happy to restore the soils, rebuild the land, and make it a recreational property where they can enjoy the wildlife and the lakes and native grasses. That’s significant.

Hats off to stewards. Hats off to those who recognize the value of land beyond the dollar value. In my travels, when someone calls and wants to discuss improving their pond or lake, I always ask first about their goals. Shortly after that, I’ll ask why they bought the property and what they intend to do with it. Those answers define the direction of stewardship.

Significance in 2019!

For you really serious pondmeisters, don’t forget about the SLMP Summit coming up this month. The powers that be asked me to help promote their event, and I’m happy to do it. The Society of Lake Management Professionals is set up for people in the lake and pond management business, but this summit is loaded with knowledge and information. If you are truly serious about pond management, this summit could be for you. It will be held in Memphis, Tennessee. See the ad in the magazine for details. By the way, they’ve recently asked me to give two keynote addresses, one to open the meeting and another at the banquet to close it.

You know, each issue of the magazine is a challenge. I’ll always remember advice given to founding editor, Mark McDonald by a sage fisheries biologist, “You’ll run out of story ideas.” When taking over the editor’s reins, I asked Ray Scott, founder of B.A.S.S. this question, “How did you keep content fresh in BassMaster Magazine?” He said, “I had different people write about the same topics.”


The pond management business has come a long way over the last 40+ years. Today, we have tools no one thought about back then. We have different knowledge—called experience. We have different types of landowners now than we had then. Goals are different, tools are different, and knowledge with science is developing. It’s still exciting, and still new. Pond Boss gets the chance to convey that newness.

And, this issue is no different—or, yes, it is quite different. New knowledge and sage advice. That’s a good combination.

As you peruse these pages, read these stories for what they are—the writer’s experiences, and knowledge.

After all, significance beckons, and it won’t be long until you are the same age as your children.

Fish on.


A series dedicated to Bob Lusk's general musings about land, water and life.

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