Letter from the Editor - March/April 2017

Spring Up!

March—one of my favorite months. It’s a transition month, as we go from this pseudo-winter into a way-ahead-of-normal spring. But, of course, there’s always that last shivering cold front of the year, happening just as our little peaches are trying to set on our north Texas fruit trees. So much for home grown fresh peaches this year. That seems to be part of our norm.

Speaking of norm, just what does that mean in today’s world? You can’t watch the news anymore. Too much angst and negative stuff there. Seems unhealthy to yours truly. The norm, to me, is listening to earnest landowners as they conscientiously and purposely do things to improve their parcels. I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but I’ll spend time each day, usually really early, strolling through Facebook, looking at photos people post about their day. My favorites are the wildlife shots, or the big fish someone caught, or those people who are teaching their grandkids how to catch a sunfish off the dock—and those kiddos baited their own hooks. When those pictures scroll by, I have to believe there is still much right with our world.

I look around each spring, marveling at how nature responds to longer days and warmer temperatures. It’s almost as though you can feel the earth tilting toward the sun and all the goodness that comes with it.

I love spring—the colors, the new green, fresh washed with spring rains, and the wild flowers and flower gardens. I especially love that first taste of fresh-cut (and of course, eaten immediately) asparagus from our six-year-old asparagus bed.

Spring is a time of birth. We see new babies, fawns, birds, and even a family of skunks foraging together, momma with her little black and white clones, moving in unison, rooting for bugs and whatever else skunks eat. You never know what you’ll see, especially when the redbud trees bloom and bullfrogs begin their bellowing croak.

Folks, spring also means it is pond management time. Rev it up, and do what you do. This issue of Pond Boss has it all. Be sure to register for our upcoming Pond Boss VII, near Lake Conroe, Texas, next October. The registration form is in this issue. I’ve been putting together an outstanding program, one a bit different than conferences past. It will be published in the May-June issue of the magazine, but will be online before that. We’ll put in on the Pond Boss website and in social media. You definitely want to attend that event. I’m always amazed what happens when we put people of similar interests and different experiences in the same room. Magic happens.

In this issue of your favorite magazine, we’ve got a great lineup for your reading pleasure:

  • Two articles about dealing with algae, a common problem this time of year. Patrick Simmsgeiger, from California, gets a wee-bit technical with his common-sense analysis how to deal with filamentous algae, and how to keep it away while Dr. Boyd tackles blue-green algae.
  • A long time Pond Boss subscriber asked me how to design a “low maintenance” lake. I liked that topic and turned it into a feature article this issue.
  • We have a story, researched and authored by a sixth grader, about oxygen depletion. It’s simple, understandable, and to the point.
  • Ask the Boss has some good meat in it.
  • Read about the ongoing research at Eagles Nest’s Grand Lake, a little side research about what big channel catfish eat was conducted. You’ll be interested in that little diet study.
  • I also decided to re-cook a story from 2006, one that our friend, the late Dr. Dave Willis, co-authored about aging fish. That topic is appropriate as more people decide to dig deeper into the science of growing huge fish.
  • Dan V. explains why it’s good to keep feeding your wildlife during these spring months.
  • Otto digs into the first half of a unique project, while Michael Gray dovetails a project he worked, written by the landowner, Jeff Johnson. Take Two, it says. You’ll see why.
  • Pond Boss subscriber, Paul Kreingold, from Virginia, offered his thoughts about a pond management project to improve fishing in a five-acre lake in his neighborhood.
  • Drs. Wes Neal and Leslie Burger share the results of an online fishing survey of the Pond Boss family last summer.
  • Cornwell reinforces a solid thought process about building a pond properly. There’s an opinionated story about pond dye, and Dr. Michael Champ has an excellent foray into succession of ponds.

The Kid’s Korner ties the knot, Birdman Mel attracts spring’s feathered friends, Eric West pores over the papers of supplemental feeding of fish, and Pond to Plate adds a tasty shrimp recipe for your palate.

Maybe this issue is one of a happy norm. You be the judge. So, we invite you to sit back, open a window and listen for those birds making their spring appearance, pour yourself a favorite beverage, and savor the pages of this issue of Pond Boss.

We’re glad you’re here and part of what makes this our Pond Boss family.

Fish on!

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

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