Editor's Letter- January/February 2020

 2020 isn’t just perfect vision or some sort of TV news show, it’s our Newest Year! And, this guy is excited! There’s just something about a landmark number—20-20—and ushering it into our lives. Seems to me that 2019 just sort of set the stage for a much more important year, twenty-twenty.

On our drive back home yesterday, The Queen asked me, “What was important about 2019, and how do you see 2020?” It took about ten minutes to wade through both of our thoughts, but while thinking about the 30,000 foot picture, we concluded the social turmoil in our country is a huge issue and think that will boil over in 2020. From a personal standpoint, we sold the pond management division of our company in 2019, and I’ve shifted more into designing pond management programs, leaving plenty of time for designing lakes for private landowners, and some new opportunities in 2020. Plus, focusing on improving the magazine has been important. Add our ten grandchildren to the mix, with two more in the oven for 2020 and we can be as fun and busy as we want to be. Probably the biggest topic we shared was change being inevitable. Sometimes we may not like it, but there’s something about change that makes us look energetically forward.

I’m real excited for you to wade through the offerings of this issue. It’s not often I make a statement like this—this issue of Pond Boss is the best ever! We’ve got some fascinating content and pictures. For a writer/photographer/editor to say this is something. Add the biologist-factor to that editor-guy and he’s still excited, that’s saying something.

I decided to do away with Managing-the-Mini-Pond and replace it with a column called Forum Talk, in which we take a meaty topic bandied about on the Pond Boss website discussion forum and share it with the readership. Also, based on several suggestions, I found a cartoonist and bought several cartoons. You’ll see the first one in this issue.

The first feature is about renovating a Florida pond. There are so many turns and twists in this story I had a hard time figuring out which story to tell. Tim Stewart, the owner, is young and enthusiastic and you’ll love his story and mud-covered pictures. Another story tells the difference between several species of sunfish. The gist of this is to drive home a point—we need to understand that different sunfish play different roles in our ponds. One of my favorite stories ever published in these pages is about hatching walleyes in Kansas, co-authored by Kenny Sanderson, who is a frequent contributor to the forum. You will love this story because of its practical detail and outstanding photos. Another super story is Michael Gray’s work to repair and install big siphon pipes in a lake. Otto battles water to build a dam in a narrow canyon and his tribulations led to some trial and error in solving a muddy problem. Another favorite story is about pond management and solar aeration for a pond in the higher elevations of the Rocky Mountains.

Yes, we have some practical stuff, too. Dr. Boyd helps us understand the value of pH and what it really means in our ponds. Another article tackles the value of figuring out your goals, and Eric West dives into winter survival rates of different fish and what happens to them during the coldest months. Dr. Neal tackles water quality issues to keep that topic at the forefront of our minds, plus Dave Beasley tosses out some tips about hybrid stripers in trophy-managed smaller ponds. Be sure to read Kids Korner. It really hits the proverbial nail on the head about plankton and includes some great photos. Mark Cornwell shares valuable knowledge about how water mixes naturally as temperatures change. Dan V investigates injuries and deaths associated with wildlife. Where I live, it’s common to hear about joggers being attacked by coyotes where humanity has encroached into wildlife habitat. Timely discussion. Birdman Mel educates us about different species of owls and how they make a living.

Last, and not by any means least, we have a story about the first Institute of Higher Pondology. That event was fantastic, on many levels. Was the curriculum great? Yes, it was. So was the food, and although the weather was less than desirable, hands-on events were informative and enlightening for the attendees. But, by far, the best part was camaraderie and newly-formed friendships. We formed lifelong friends with this event.

The next Institute of Higher Pondology is scheduled for April 2-5. See the ad page 33 or drop me a note personally at boblusk@outlook.com. We have room for several more people for the spring session. Who should come? Those who truly want to learn much more about managing their lakes. Or, if you are in the pond management business and want to learn many of the finer points, you are a candidate.

Finally, I want to wish all of us a Happy New Year and a prosperous 2020 in all ways. For us, it’s new business opportunities—and two more grandbabies. We’ll have an even dozen. That’s a pretty good number, too.


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

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