Editor's Letter- September/October 2018

 What is Pond Boss?


In February, 2013, our good friend, Matt Rayl, asked that question. If you don’t know Matt, you should. He’s a superstar in the pond management world. We were brainstorming at LL,2, with some clean planning paper on an easel, talking about all things Pond Boss. After a few minutes of some intense exchanges, he paused, looked me straight in the eye, and said, “Bob, just what IS Pond Boss”?

I paused—to think about that question. No one had ever asked that.

Eight or ten years earlier, I would have simply responded, “Pond Boss is a magazine that goes out bi-monthly, to help people be better stewards of their land and water.”

But, as my pause lingered, my mind flooded. Pond Boss is way more than that. Pond Boss is a website, loaded with excellent information, articles, and videos. Plus, the website hosts our “Ask the Boss” discussion forum, the go-to place for all things pond management and one-on-one help. The forum started in 1998 and outgrew its software and was started over in 2002, where it’s been since. Pond Boss is people, those who own land, have common goals, and share their ideas, read the magazine, participate in the forum, and spend time together. Pond Boss is a world-class conference and expo every few years, where people come together to spend time learning and exchanging ideas. Pond Boss is a group of advertisers and vendors of the coolest, most important stuff a pondmeister might want or need. Pond Boss is small groups of people coming together around the nation, people of like mind, just wanting to be together.

Matt’s question struck a nerve.

Never in our wildest dreams did we think Pond Boss would be anything beyond a magazine, a journal, or a newsletter to share and exchange knowledge and experiences. But, here we are, a website, discussion forum, conferences, and oh, yes, we publish a magazine which fuels the economy of all things Pond Boss. But, all that was 2013, five years ago. Today, Pond Boss is deeply involved in social media, with a weekly live broadcast on Facebook, videos archived on YouTube, partnerships with advertisers, providing cutting edge information about how to be the best stewards of our land and water.

Pond Boss has been influential in people’s lives—and none of us really thought about that way back in the beginning. Here’s an example. Dr. Bruce Condello, Lincoln, Nebraska, met Aaron Matos through the Pond Boss discussion forum. They hit it off and became friends. Bruce volunteered to help Aaron with his pond in Phoenix, Arizona, when it was time to harvest fish. Aaron ended up mentoring one of Bruce’s daughter’s and sponsored her as she attended Arizona State University. After graduation, she wanted to get a post graduate degree. She headed to Nashville, Tennessee. Bruce had gotten to know Dr. David Huesinkveld, a physician in Nashville via—you guessed it, the Pond Boss forum. David and his family helped again. Bruce reciprocated with fishing trips and other things that friends do for friends. That’s just one story of many. Some of Debbie’s and my deepest friendships developed because of Pond Boss.

My hope is that you continue to share what you know, share Pond Boss, and build friendships because you are part of this big family. That’s what Pond Boss is—a big family of people of like mind, with similar goals and ambitions to be the best stewards of their land and water that they can be.

Oh, yes, and we publish a magazine every other month, which fuels the economy of Pond Boss.

I’m thankful for this family.

This issue of Pond Boss is once again loaded with some great stuff. I’ll always remember way back in the beginning when founding editor, Mark McDonald, started this thing, a couple of sage pond management pros saying, “It will never last…you’ll run out of material.” I talked with one of those guys a few weeks ago. He marveled over the longevity and shook his head as he admitted where this industry stands now, compared to three decades ago. I marvel, too.

Otto, in his infinite, simplistic wisdom, writes a story where he advises to “Check Before You Write the Check.” He’s right on. Dr. Wes Neal tells an interesting story about Blackjack Pond, before and after aeration. It will make you want to run out and buy an aeration system. We have six feature stories this issue. I wrote a couple, one about trends in pond management and another about thoughtful culling of fish. Michael Gray emphasizes the importance of a core in a dam. Dave Beasley overcomes some basic assumptions landowners tend to make about their ponds. Ty Kleeb takes us to King Fisher Society’s Richmond Mill Lake, a legendary bluegill fishery and resort destination. Beth drives us down a path of soothing grief, while Dr. Boyd grounds us in the reality of recommendations. Dan V explains the value of riparian zones. Be sure to read and study that article. Eric West schools us about Largemouth bass genetics, while Mark Cornwell looks back on what he did a few years ago building his pond and what it’s like now. Yes, we have all the regular stuff. Check out the photos in “Know Your Pond Life.” Not only is that article educational, the photos will knock you out. Speaking of being knocked out, this issue’s recipe was a home run.

Thanks for being a big part of the Pond Boss Family. We deeply appreciate you. We hope you’re making good friends here, and bringing along some new ones to be introduced.


Fish On!

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

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