Letter from the Editor - July/August 2017

 Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All

Happy Independence Day! Fourth of July, the day we celebrate our nation’s independence, our freedom. Looking into the rearview mirror over the last year, many of us shake our heads in sadness at how divisive our country has become. My prayer is that someday soon our country will become indivisible once again. My challenge to all of us is to cherish our independence, celebrate our liberty, and remember those basic principles we learned way back in kindergarten.

“Hold hands when crossing the street, play fair, don’t hit people, take a nap every afternoon, share everything, wash your hands before you eat, say you’re sorry when you hurt someone, and be aware of wonder.” I have to remind myself of these thoughtful words Robert Fulghum wrote in his quotable work of decades ago. I think about this wisdom when I turn on the TV and hear about a shooting at a baseball practice, or some other vicious attack on one political side or the other. It’s up to us to celebrate and cherish our independence, and to humbly appreciate those who stood up to give their lives for us to be independent.

Compared to the inciteful words we hear today via the airways, network news, and social media, Fulghum’s insightful words often are refreshing to read. I’m especially fond of wonder. Pond Boss readers understand what wonder is, and how to be aware of and admire the wonder that surrounds us. What’s even more meaningful is our commitment to stewardship and helping nudge nature in healthy ways as we enjoy the responsibilities of managing our resources. Feeling the tug of a big fish on light tackle always seems to give a profound nudge to our senses and a feeling of pride in knowing we are doing what we can to make that fishing hole the best it can be. Add a cold beverage on a hot summer day, and a pondmeister seems to be right at home around the soul-soothing effects that water conveys pond-side.

If you haven’t registered for Pond Boss VII, now is the time. We still have a block of rooms available, and the program is mostly set. Peek at the insert inside the magazine to get a sneak preview of the speakers and topics. If you have a suggestion for a topic, now is the time to tell us. Drop us an email, and if we can add a topic, we will. Seriously. We want you to attend and benefit from this event. And, for those of you who haven’t been to a Pond Boss conference before, you can ask around—it’s one of those you love to attend, and don’t want to leave. You’ll make new best friends, gather valuable knowledge, and expand your network of people who can help in every aspect of land and pond management. It is well worth the fee and the effort to get to the venue. Speaking of venue, this conference needs to be a family affair. There are great places to eat, a full spa, golf course, nearby shopping and Lake Conroe, which was host to the 2017 BassMaster’s Classic, the Super Bowl of bass fishing. A registration form is in the middle of this issue. Or, you can register online.

This issue is another one for the books. The biggest feature is about growing trophy bass and the extent one landowner will go to accomplish this monumental goal. There’s a great story about renovating a Georgia lake. Remember in the masthead I ask readers to contribute their stories? Steven Seitz sent a story you’ll love. Another reader, Bryan Immink, from Michigan, goes deeper into his plantings. Biologist Dave Beasley shares his experiences in Part II of his story about a renovated lake along the Atlantic Seaboard. Birdman Mel shares tales of bluebirds. Dan V shares his thoughts on wildlife and taxes, valuable words for those who own property. Mark Cornwell teaches his perspective about having a trout pond, and we revisited a helpful article from several years ago about fish competition, penned by Dr. Dave Willis and Melissa Wuellner. New writer, Reagan Renfroe, wrote a story about professional bass fishing, pond management, and Alton Jones Jr. and his dad, Alton Sr. Otto waxes his bulldozer as he contemplates how technology is rapidly affecting his trade. Earthmover Michael Gray talks about his baptism into the pond building business, literally. Dr. Wes Neal covers the concepts of genetics—do you need to change genetics? Eric West writes about the evolution of catch rates in a pond where aggressive fish are harvested. Be sure to read about that. I’ve tossed a salad of columns about grass carp, periphyton, and how your pond pants during the dog days of summer. Add in a beaver discussion in the Kid’s Korner, and a tasty recipe for twice-baked crawfish potatoes, and you have a menu to sink your brain into. Ask the Boss has a charming photo. You’ll want to see that first. It’ll bring a smile to your summer face.

Thanks for being a big part of this one, and for your consideration in attending Pond Boss VII. We’re putting together a great show just for you. It will be well worth the effort and expense to attend.

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

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