The Pond Boss VII Conference Program

We've been hard at work to create a very exciting, robust and diverse program for this October. Our sessions and topics cover the full gamut of pond management and primping, including a deep-dive into aeration. We are busting with anticipation to hear the speakers we have lined up for you, and can't wait to see you there. Register today!

- Bob Lusk, Editor of Pond Boss Magazine

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

5:00-6:00 pm:  Registration Opens


Thursday, October 12, 2017

6:30-11:30 am

Pond Pro Series Breakfast (appx 25-30 minutes each)


Dr. Bruce Richards-Weedoo Greenboat-The Aquatic Harvester: An Opportunity for the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs; Profitability Potential. Dr. Richards will explain the business potential for value-added services using their Weedoo Greenboat.

Brian Fischer-Sox Erosion Solutions-Trends in Living Shorelines:  Hedging Shoreline Erosion.  Innovative products to reclaim eroded shorelines.

Landon Wiet-Aquafix- State of the Microbial Union: Science-based frontiers of microbe management in ponds and lakes. Value-added products for your business. Learn about properly assessing water, and custom microbe blends.

Dale Baden-Texas Hunter Products- Feeding Programs:  Best Practices for growing BIG fish.  Dale shares years of product knowledge and experiences of their vast client base to recommend successful fish feeding programs.

Ken Hale-Boatcycle Manufacturing- Tilapia, Its Place in Ponds Today: How people are using these fish in pond practices. Ken has been producing tilapia for years and is a pioneer of using tilapia as a pond management tool. Learn from his experiences.

Steven Bardin-Texas Pro Lake Management- Social Media in the Private Fisheries world: How to grow and connect with your audience.  If you aren’t online, you are way behind. Steven brings some little-known hints about using social media to get your word out.

Dr. Bruce Value-added Client ideas: Off the dock strategies. Bruce has always had a knack for thinking past the norm, on his way to growing huge fish. Learn his thinking process and how you might be able to help your clients figure out a faster way to giant fish.

Dr. Claude Boyd-Auburn University- It’s Complicated: Basic water chemistry, how it affects biology, and how these elements come together.  Not many people can explain water chemistry and how it affects the biology of those hard-to-manage waters. Dr. Boyd can. He’ll take us through the complicated world of chemistry and biology of water.

Patrick Goodwin-Vertex Water Features- Research on the Effectiveness of Aeration: Data-based evaluation of aeration.  Patrick recently received his master’s degree. Along the way, with his job at Vertex, Patrick put together an empirical, science-based replicated research project to quantify and qualify science behind aeration design.

Andy Benson-Mossback Fish Habitat—Mossback’s Research Partnership:  Product development. Andy shares university research designed to judge the impact of added habitat on fish populations in lakes and ponds with limited habitat. What they’ve learned will give you fuel to decide what to do with lakes and ponds in need of structure and habitat. 


1:00-5:00  Fishing Tournament-- Reserve your spot NOW!

2:00-5:00  Conference Registration

6:30-8:00  Ice Breaker


Friday, October 13, 2017

6:30-8:00  Breakfast

7:00-5:00  Expo & Registration Open 

Session I

8:00  Welcome to Pond Boss VII—Mike Otto & Bob Lusk

 It All Starts with Water:  Absorb how water behaves, explained from the perspective of seasoned professionals who work with the wet stuff every day.

 8:10-8:30  Bob Lusk-Pond Boss Magazine -Water and Its Majesty: Simple substance, big facts.  Bob shares some thoughtful facts you may not know about water’s nature, its physics, and abilities…and the fact that we only borrow it.

8:30-9:00  Dr. Claude Boyd-Auburn University-Water Chemistry for Pondmeisters: What to know about water for good decisions.  Dr. Boyd shares fundamental water chemistry for pondmeisters to give them a starting point on their way to deciphering what happens with their water.

9:00-9:30  Landon Wiet-Aquafix- Analyzing Algae, Beneficial Microbes for Dummies: Cleansing water the natural way.  Landon shares his tips how to give water the best tools to expedite its natural cleansing and maintaining good water health.

 9:30-9:45  Coffee Break

 The Ins and Outs of Pond Construction:  So, you’re thinking about building a Pond? From plans to pitfalls to fulfilling your dreams, listen as these experts take you through the process. Case studies and real world projects dominate this session.

 9:45-10:10  Mike Otto-Otto’s Dirt Service - Dirt and Water; the Mix: Getting down and dirty with pond planning.  Mike shares 40 years of mistakes people make, and how to think through your project. He’ll emphasize planning and expecting the unexpected.

10:10-10:30  Michael Gray-Gray’s Construction - The Long Odds of Short Cuts:  Digging smarter to finish strong.  Michael has been around long enough to go behind other earthmovers and fix mistakes because someone wanted to save a few dollars and take the wrong shortcut, rather than finishing strong.

10:30-10:50  Todd Watts- Pond Boss Subscriber - High-Wattage Pond:  Designing, Building the Perfect Ohio Bass Fishing Lake.  Todd attended Pond Boss VI, in Rockwall. That knowledge was the genesis of finding, buying land, and building his dream lake. Listen as he takes you through the process of building his 3+ acre pond in southern Ohio.

10:50-11:10  Dave Sefton-Dave Sefton Excavating- Designing Waterfowl Havens: Building great habitats for feathered friends.  Dave’s career came honestly…he comes from a line of earthmovers. With a passion for building ponds, he also takes pride in creating wetlands and waterfowl habitat. Enjoy his down-to-earth, practical hints for attracting your feathered friends on their way south.

11:10-11:30  Clint Steffens-Conservation Inc.- Revamping a Gravel Mine:  Reclaiming Gravel Pits: Hunting & Fishing Paradise.  Clint recently worked with a landowner west of Houston, near Columbus, Texas, to take some fully harvested gravel pits which fill from the low-lying water table, and turn them into a functional, fun recreational property.

11:30-11:45  Shawn McNulty & Sawyer Chiles-American Sportfish Hatchery-Dredging Up the Past:  Hydraulic Dredging—Renovation without Destruction. Hydraulic dredging is the best way to remove sediment from you lake without draining it or disrupting the surrounding property.


11:45-1:00  Lunch & Expo time!


Session II

Pond Management 101:  Okay, you have a dream…and you have some water. Take notes as these experts create your roadmap of successful pond management fundamentals that are sure to lead you from Point A to Point Z.

 1:00-1:30  Paul Dorsett-SOLitude Lake Management-Hey, How Do I Stock My Pond?:  Helpful hints for stocking new water.  Rookie pondmeisters take special note:  Paul is here to help you decide the best strategy to stock a brand-new pond. You never knew there were so many practical options.

1:30-2:00  Steven Bardin-Texas Pro Lake Management-Mastering a Pond Plan: Planning beyond the moment, learning how to adjust strategies for your master plan.  Here, you’ll learn the value of designing and implementing a master plan for lake management. You’ll also learn the importance of being light on your feet, in case nature brings you to a proverbial fork in your pond management road.

2:00-2:30  Scott Tucker- Clearwater Lakes and Ponds- Pond Life Down Under: State of the Union of Ponds in Australia. Our dear friend from Australia makes his way halfway around the world to hang out with us again. Passionate about water, you’ll be interested in the differences between strategies and thought processes of pond owners and managers down under.

2:30-3:00  Bob Lusk- Bob Lusk Outdoors & Pond Boss - Non-Traditional Stocking Strategies: Hits and misses on the way to trophy fish.  Bob and his team have tried some strategies to grow greater numbers of large bass in a shorter period of time. This strategy transcends traditional biology with some math and bigger food chains. He’ll also address some thoughts about all-female populations.

 3:00-3:15  Take a Break!

 Wade In: A Deeper Look at Managing Your Waters: The finer points of fisheries management, growing big fish, and science-based strategies.

 3:15-3:45  Dr. Bruce Condello- - Inside the Pond, but Outside the Box: Using unconventional methods to pursue your pond passions.  What Bruce has done with a ten-acre rock pit south of Lincoln, Nebraska, is truly astonishing. He shares some of his way-outside-the-box ideas and how he’s used them to grow several species of exceptionally large fish.

3:45-4:15  Dr. Michael Masser- Department head; Texas A&M Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences Dept- History of Trophy Bass Management: From then, until now, growing giant bass.  Dr. Masser dug into bass history to track the pursuits of pondmeisters since the inception of pond management. This exceptionally interesting talk will generate some new thoughts about a fairly young proposition…growing trophy largemouth bass. 

4:15-4:45  Dr. Wes Neal - Mississippi State University- Empirically Speaking: Unraveling genetics for pondmeisters. Do you need pure strain Florida bass? Do those actually exist? Or, maybe those F1’s you hear and read about? What about northern bass? Coppernose bluegill or those from a nearby fishing hole? Dr. Neal clears up the concepts of genetics and fish management.

 4:45-5:00  Important Pond Boss business!!

 5:00-5:30  Marty Stone; Keynote Address  Marty, a true celebrity in the angling industry, and analyst for Major League Fishing, shares the importance of private ponds on his life and the industry as a whole. Marty is a dynamic speaker and will keep you mesmerized with his life’s experiences. He’s truly “been there, done that”.

 Dinner on your own:  La Torretta has two nice restaurants and a bar. Social Time for all!


Saturday, October 14

6:30-8:00  Breakfast

7:00-5:00  Expo Open & Registration


Session III

Wildlife Management and Attracting Wildlife: Start scouting out the best spot to mount your outdoor camera. We’ll be sharing tips and strategies for attracting wildlife, waterfowl and songbirds…plus a little bit about the bee’s knees

 7:30-8:00  Dale Baden—Texas Hunter Feeders—Laying Out Your Hunting Spread:  Blind placement, food plots, and where to put feeders.  Dale shares a common-sense approach to setting up your hunting ranch and fishing ponds to increase the bounty.

8:00-8:30  Scott Hohensee—Purina Animal Nutrition- Establishing Your Property for Supplemental Feeding of Deer: Developing a strategy.  Scott’s focus is on feeding deer, to maximize the genetic potential of your deer herd and will share his expertise about to use a supplemental feeding program to decrease pressure on the range as you increase wildlife quality.

8:30-9:00  Dan Van Schaik -Integrated Wildlife Management Company- Attracting Wildlife: Wildlife-friendly habitat improvements.  Do you plow here, clear trees there, or let the brush come back and take over? Dan shares his decades of experience as he coaches you through some of the simple things you can do to increase wildlife visitation to your piece of paradise.

9:00-9:30  Jim Willis –Wildlife Habitat Federation- Habitat Rehab: Giving back to depleted land. Jim has dedicated himself to working with small landowners to rehabilitate tracks by growing what grew 300 years ago. The result? Quail are returning where they disappeared years ago. Other native wildlife is having a resurgence as diverse grasses grow and return soil health.

9:30-10:00  Ashley Ralph & Justin Russel-Brazos Valley Beekeepers-The Bees Knees, It’s Not So Hard to Do: Valuable knowledge about bees and their impact on your property.  Admit it, you’ve always wanted bee hives on your property, but figured it’s too much trouble. No, it’s not. Alvin will teach us not only about keeping bees, but the value that bees bring to the environment.

 10:00-10:15  Coffee Break

 Aeration: Moving your water to clean it.

 10:15-10:40  Patrick Goodwin -Vertex Water Features –Nothing but the facts: Empirical aeration research.  It’s not common for truly empirical research to happen in this growing industry. But, Patrick did it, and is here to show you the value of choosing the proper aeration system and methods.

10:40-11:05 Liz Edgerton- Kasco Marine -Get your water to Movin’: Different methods of aeration.  So, you are one who thought aeration is about a compressor, hose, and billions of bubbles. You are correct…but there’s much more to it, with a variety of products and methods to keep your water in touch with its gold…the atmosphere.

11:05-11:30  John Redd- Outdoor Water Solution-Off the Grid: Using alternative energy sources for aeration. No electricity? No problem. John brings us up to date on state of the art alternative energy aeration products. Sun? Yep. Wind? Of course. See your choices where it’s prohibitive to bring electricity to your pond.

11:30-11:55  Luke Keeton- Keeton IndustriesMicrobes: The many facets of beneficial microbes with aeration.  Luke teaches us how those these microscopic critters multiply and do their “pac-man” jobs of eating those nasties in your water. Plus, he’ll share practical knowledge about the different ways to use microbes on the way to healthy water.

 11:55-1:00  Lunch!

Session IV

The Underwater Salad Bar: Aquatic plants - what we want, what we need and how to hedge your strategies for a healthy balance.

 1:00-1:30  Dr. Michael Masser- Texas A&M University Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences Dept-Methods of Adjusting your Aquatic Plants: Identification, methods, and healthy protocol of managing your underwater salad bar.  Excessive aquatic plants may arguably be the biggest complaint of pondmeisters nationwide. Dr. Masser brings a common-sense approach to evaluating and deciding what to do with your under-water greenery. 

1:30-2:00  Dr. Bruce Richards-Weedoo Greenboats-Exotic Shoreline Vegetation: Identification and management.  Bruce shares a little-used approach to dealing with exotic shoreline vegetation. Physical removal is becoming more practical as this industry matures.

2:00-2:30  Kelly Duffie-Helena Chemicals-Herbicide Update: Wise about herbicides.  Kelly has been Pond Boss’ ‘go to’ expert about all things aquatic vegetation and how to deal with excessive or unwanted plants. Here, he’ll give solid advice about how to use the proper herbicides and the state of the herbicide industry in these days of ‘going green’.

2:30-3:00  Dr. Dan Roelke –Texas A&M University Wildlife and Fisheries Science Dept- Killer Algae:  It’s here, now what?  Golden algae? Blue-green? Implications and what you need to do to stay on alert for these undesirables.

3:00-3:30  Ken Hale-Boatcycle Mfg- Tilapia: From algae to fish tacos.  Ken takes us through the history and effectiveness of using tilapia in your pond management strategy.

 3:30-3:45  Take a Break!

Pimp Out Your Pond: Amenities: Preview the latest toys, joys and creative touches from the experts that can transform your watering hole to the perfect oasis. Add a little bling to make your lake sparkle.

 3:45-4:15  Ty Kleeb –Pig Patrol– Showing Your Work: Revealing your mysteries of the deep and how to catch your big fish.  Ty may be the best kept secret of this conference. When you see the photos of some of the giant fish he’s caught, you’ll drool on your notebook. He’s here for helpful hints how you can actually SEE some of those giant fish you’ve grown.

4:15-4:45  Andy Benson –Mossback Fish Habitat-Rehabbing and Renovation: Reviving habitat and improving non-productive pond areas.  Mossback has been involved in many creative habitat improvement projects, but few of them compare to the results they’ve seen in an east Texas lake.

4:45-5:15  Nate Herman –Herman Brothers Lake and Land Management Livin’ the Lake Life: All the fun and games you can have around your pond.  We’ve saved one of the best for last. One of the stars of the reality TV show, “Lake Life”, one of Nate’s favorite things to do is fill a pond and its shoreline with all kinds of fun toys. If it’s near the water, Nate will either catch it, or jump off it.

 5:15-5:30  Closing remarks

 6:30-7:30  Happy Hour

 7:30  Banquet!  Festivities and Address by Dr. Jim Morgan –Kingfisher Society—Richmond Mill Lake & Kingfisher Society:  The Makings of Legendary Fishery:  History and Legacy of Richmond Mill Pond


In addition to the above topics, the spouses’ activities will showcase the best that surrounding Montgomery has to offer.