“Pond Boss” magazine turns 25 years old!

Pond Boss turns 25

"Pond Boss" magazine is a wonderful information resource and fun to read!

Anyone with an inkling of passion for lake and pond management would thoroughly enjoy reading “Pond Boss” magazine. It is folksy and fun to read while being incredibly informational. I read every issue cover to cover, not so much because I don’t already know the material, but because the stories are so interesting. The publisher, Bob Lusk, is an experienced lake management consultant who cares about people and natural resources. I know he is as surprised as anyone that the magazine turns 25 years old this month.

Bob and I have often discussed how similar our careers have been. We both graduated from college in the mid-1970s and were lucky enough to get fishery jobs. We both started our own businesses about the same time (early 1980’s). Both companies were more interested in producing fish for sale than for creating productive fishing lakes and ponds. At that time aquaculture was a place to make a living while lake management was for university Cooperative Extension publications. State run hatcheries were transitioning from providing “free” fingerling fish for stocking farm ponds to only stocking public lakes. An opportunity developed for selling fish for private lake stocking and both of us jumped at the opportunity.

I had been working for North Carolina State University doing aquaculture advisory service. The university encouraged me to write a newsletter that was mailed to anyone interested. I briefly published a newspaper column distributed to small local newspapers in North Carolina. When I started my company, I expanded the newsletter into a subscription “magazine” called “Practical Aquaculture & Lake Management”. After ten years of production I decided to stop the magazine because the lake management business was picking up and I didn’t have the time to continue selling ads, writing all the articles and doing the layout work on my very primitive computer. Coincidentally, that was about the time “Pond Boss” started being published.

Lusk has succeeded with his magazine through hard work, long hours meeting deadlines and because of his personality. He has the expertise! But, his writing style utilizes humor, down home (almost redneck) perspectives and a genuine interest in the people he writes about. He understands their desire for attractive productive lakes and ponds. He has a field advisory staff, contributing writers and guest authors that all write with a familiar, informal and easy to understand style. The articles appeal to a broad audience. They are not too scientific, but explain science concepts important for successful lake management. Improving fishing is a universal theme but requires education about water quality, aquatic vegetation management, fish genetics and behavior. Equally important is helping people enjoy their ponds through improving aesthetics, correcting existing problems and very importantly publicizing new products and techniques.

Bob will send anyone who asks a free sample copy of the magazine. I know we give out samples to customers and they love it. “Pond Boss” is published bi-monthly and a subscription is $35.00 per year. Request a sample: Pond Boss, Subscription Service Center, PO Box 12, Sadler, TX  76264 or call: 1-800-687-6075 or visit: www.PondBoss.com.

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Ever Seen a Freshwater Jellyfish?

Freshwater jellyfish in a lake in North Carolina

These freshwater jellyfish were swimming in a lake we manage.

Chad, one of our Service Managers with 25 years of lake management experience, took this interesting photograph of freshwater jellyfish at a lake he was working on this week. There were quite a few of the jellyfish and he said they looked a little spooky gliding through the water near the surface of the lake. About the size of dimes and nickels, he had seen them a few times, but rarely. I did a little research since I didn’t know much about them.

Apparently there is only one species on earth and it is native to the Yangtze River in China. Nevertheless, it has spread widely throughout temperate areas of the world. They are believed to have entered the United States with aquatic plants, fish and other aquatic animals sold for ornamental purposes during the early 1900s. These freshwater jellyfish now exist in at least 43 states, but are most prevalent in the temperate regions.

Much like saltwater jellyfish they are predators and have stinging cells along their tentacles that allow them to capture zooplankton and perhaps fish larvae. Crayfish are believed to eat them, but not much is known about their feeding habits. They are not harmful to humans, but sensitive people may feel some irritation if they rub against the jellyfish.

Freshwater jellyfish can reproduce in several ways, but the adults swimming in the photograph are usually single sex, either male or female. I found little information about their abundance. Sometimes they are abundant in a pond one year and are not seen again. Sometimes, they reoccur for several years. There were also reports that sometimes they appear for a year or two, disappear only to reappear a few years later. Water quality does not seem to be an indicator of where they might be found.

Lakes and ponds are fascinating complex ecosystems.

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Introducing Lake & Pond Probiotics for Do It Yourselfers

Planktonic algae on pon

Probiotics can increase effectiveness of planktonic algae treatments

Although bacteria/enzyme products have been used by lake and pond managers for years, research and development has improved effectiveness considerably. Laboratories have seen the potential and have been identifying and developing strains of bacteria and enzymes that are much more effective than just a few years ago. We have begun using the products and are extremely impressed with their effectiveness. We now offer a line of very safe versatile products you can apply yourself. Here are descriptions of products we are now offering to lake, pond and stormwater device owners.

  • Ø FL&PM Bio-Catalyst: Used in a tank mix with readily available algaecides, this probiotic provides sticking properties to give algaecides better access to algae. Once the algae are dead, this product releases bio-stimulants that increase the action of organics-eating bacteria.
  • Ø FL&PM Cattail Digester: This fatty acid has two parts – a water-soluble head and an oil-soluble tail. Each responds to a separate substrate, allowing for more of the tank mix to be absorbed by the cattail rhizomes. This allows the herbicide to kill the plant from the inside. After the cattail is killed, this product provides nutrients and stimulants to the naturally-occurring bacteria who digest the cattail.
  • Ø FL&PM Muck Reducer: These pellets contain a probiotic blend that works two ways: bio stimulants invigorate the sluggish muck-eating bacteria already found in your pond. Then, the Muck Reducer bacteria are released, degrading the material that the existing bacteria can’t digest.
  • Ø FL&PM Nutrient Reducer 78: Summer time with hot water is difficult for lakes, ponds and stormwater devices. This formulation is for use during the summer. Another product will be available for use in cool water. Nutrient Reducer 78 is packed with bacteria that are extremely active in high temperatures to combat the overabundance of nutrients and dead organic matter. This is an easy way to remove 30 – 60% of the sludge from your pond. It is extremely efficient at cleaning the dead organics and fish matter present after fish kills.
  • Ø FL&PM Bio-Clarifier: By fixating nitrogen and temporarily binding phosphorous, this probiotic actually clarifies your water. These cultures coagulate the nutrients into micro flocs that sink to the bottom clearing the water. The blend of 12 different cultures are especially good for treating planktonic algae when combined with a low dose chelated copper algaecide.

Encouraging good stewardship of water, these products alone do not kill any plants or algae. They just make other products more effective, and improve the health and water quality of the water. We are adamant about the benefits of aeration in lakes and ponds. Having dissolved oxygen near the bottom makes these products more effective but it is not absolutely necessary.

Please feel free to contact us with a description of your problem (close up photos help too). We can recommend a recipe that will include these probiotics. We are confident you will be impressed by the ease of application, cost effectiveness and long-lasting results. Pick up your products at 9020 White Oak Road, Garner, NC  27529. Contact us at 919-427-8507 or info@FosterLake.com and we can ship them to you.

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The Victory Junction Camp deserves your support!

We have donated lake and pond management services and fish stocking to the Victory Junction Camp in Randleman, NC since the camp opened in 2004. It is an amazing place. Seriously ill children have the time of their lives! Campers have arrived and the camp will be buzzing all summer until school starts back again.


Ethan at Victory Junction Camp in Randleman, NC

Ethan enjoying the Victory Junction Camp

Summer is finally here! We welcomed our first campers of the season and Ethan was one of them. Ethan started the week making his name badge special by decorating it with beads and buttons and exploring camp with old and new friends. On Tuesday, he took a spin in the lazy river and soaked his counselor at the splash pad in the waterpark, his favorite program area. There was so much for him to do during his third year at camp.

“The best is yet to come,” Ethan said.

Later Tuesday night, he cheered on a NASCAR pit crew and even used air guns to change tires at NASCARnival, our camp carnival. The rest of the week was just as eventful. From the archery range, to the fishing docks, to the theater stage where he performed with all of his cabin-mates, Ethan created camp memories this summer that he will never forget.

At Victory Junction kids find acceptance. They meet other campers who have similar illnesses and share similar challenges. The fear and hurt of teasing disappears and their self-confidence emerges along with a greater sense of independence.

This summer, our camp theme is Be Your Campself, which encourages our campers to take their Victory Junction experiences back home and continue being their best self. Ethan’s excitement for camp and his positive attitude truly demonstrates what it means to Be Your Campself.

Please visit: http://victoryjunction.org/ to learn more and see if you can help.

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LED Fountain Lights are Definitely the Way to Go!

Aquamaster Fountain with LED lights

Even blue lights are bright with LED bulbs.

Pink is ideal for Breast Cancer Awareness Week. Red, white and blue flashing is exciting for the 4th of July Independence Day. Lavender is soft, respectful and somber for Easter. Not only are LED fountain lights extremely clear and bright, the new LGBW Night Glow Lighting package offered by Aquamaster Fountains have 40 watt bulbs instead of the 250 watt halogen bulbs and the bulbs last a ridiculously long time. They can also use smaller less expensive electric cable.

The pre-programed controller, mounted in the control panel, includes 10 individual colors. About 20 additional color combinations include major holidays, warm sets of color, cool sets of color and various combinations. Software is provided that allows me to program my own color show.  There should soon be a WIFI controlled option that will allow me to choose a program from my smart phone.

I’m simply amazed at the clarity and crispness of the light patterns. The light shines through the spraying water much more than traditional lights. Our fountain is located in the pond beside our new world headquarters building at 9020 White Oak Road in Garner, North Carolina. I change the color patterns frequently and post the purpose of the color and photos on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Like and Follow us to get those updates. The fountain attracts a lot of attention and serves as a marketing tool.

Fountains are for show, and the splashing water sound is a bonus. LED lights are perfect for neighborhood entrances, shopping areas, public attractions, restaurants and individual homes. Please call us (919-772-8548) or visit our web site (www.FosterLake.com) if you want more information.



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Foster Lake & Pond Management Expands Stormwater Device Maintenance and Repair Services in the Charlotte Area

Storm drain needing repair

Lots of stormwater devices need repairs

“We’ve been inspecting and managing stormwater devices in the Charlotte area for about 8 years and we need to expand our maintenance and repair services”, says Johnny Foster (owner of the Garner, NC based company). New development and existing compliance issues have created opportunities for small to mid-size grading and landscape contractors. Needed are companies with the skills and abilities to work in wet areas and on slopes. The work may include dredging, drain system repairs and replacement, riprap channel construction and repairs, wetland plant establishment, shoreline stabilization and turf establishment.

“We have been managing lakes, ponds and stormwater devices around Charlotte for over 10 years. Now, we need to partner with contractors who can complement our inspection and management activities,” Foster said. The company is searching for a Construction/Repair Service (CRS) specialist who can assess repair needs and manage projects.

Foster Lake & Pond Management has been in business for 32 years. Foster started the company after working for N.C. State University for 9 years. They are currently building a “Net Zero Energy Consumption” headquarters facility near Garner, NC. The company provides fisheries management, aquatic vegetation management and the complete range of services and products needed for lakes, ponds and stormwater devices. “We cover all of North Carolina” Foster said, “but this is a significant expansion into the Charlotte area.”

For more information: www.FosterLake.com


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Benefits of Chelated Copper Algaecide


January 23, 2015 | 

As Preferred Applicators for the SePRO Company, I think this article will be of interest to many of our customers.


Algae can be a major problem for small bodies of water, and because it can take over so quickly, it needs to be controlled in a safe and effective manner. Most people are familiar with the historically used algaecide, Copper Sulfate. Copper Sulfate has been used in ponds for generations now with few changes.

Chelated copper works as good or better than copper sulfate. Chelated copper is effective on both filamentous and planktonic algae in a wide range of fresh water applications. Upon application, it starts to work immediately and works extremely well—it’s far more effective than copper sulfate. When applied, it stays active (suspended in the water column) longer, rather than immediately sinking to the bottom. This allows you to use less copper, and take a more precise route to dealing with the problem.

Chelated copper uses less elemental copper, than copper sulfate.

Technical aspects of chelated copper are:

  • Chelated copper provides increased infusion (passive transport not facilitated active) of copper into the target algae biomass to act on multiple internal modes of action and elicit greater algaecide activity
  • Chelated copper provides effectiveness independent of environmental conditions, growth characteristics and water chemistries
  • Chelated copper can increase the stability of copper in the water column by decreasing the potential for precipitation with inorganic compounds
  • Chelated copper products can have a greater affinity for the target species and control at lower treatment copper concentrations
  • Chelated copper has documented decreased toxicity to non-target fish/invertebrate species
  • SePRO algaecides are designed to enhance toxicity to and uptake by the target biomass subsequently decreasing available copper to non-target organisms and decreasing environmental burden

In addition, the body of water treated with chelated copper can be used for swimming, fishing, watering livestock, irrigating turf or ornamental plants right after application. As you can see, these benefits make chelated copper a more technical choice for your algae control needs.


Tim Bitz is Manager of Direct to Consumer Business for SePRO Corporation. He blogs about common water quality problems that consumers face atStewardsOfWater.com.

Foster Lake & Pond Management provides the full range of lake, pond and stormwater BMP services and products. These include: construction, repairs, maintenance, certified inspections, fish stocking, fisheries management, lake mapping, vegetation management, docks, fountains and aeration.

We have provided aquatic and stormwater solutions to our North Carolina customers for 30 years. Call us at: 919-772-8548 or visit: www.FosterLake.com.   


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New Law will Affect Many North Carolina Lake Dam Owners

Lake dam failure

An example of a lake dam failure

“The Coal Ash Management Act of 2014, signed into law on September 20, 2014, requires all owners of high and intermediate hazard dams to submit Emergency Action Plans (EAPs) to the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the N.C. Department of Public Safety (DPS) no later than March 1, 2015.”

That is the first paragraph of a notice we received from DENR dated November 6, 2014. We know Emergency Action Plans are complex, require considerable time and expense to complete and at least part has to be sealed by a professional engineer. Four months is not much time considering the number of affected dams (roughly 2,000) in North Carolina. Most do not have existing EAPs. We immediately began gathering information about the law and about our clients’ dams who are affected.

An Emergency Action Plan is a good thing. It helps dam owners determine what would be damaged, who might be affected and which authorities need to be notified if a problem with a dam is occurring. Intermediate and high hazard dams are determined by the damage expected to occur during and after a catastrophic failure of the dam. Any dam, whose sudden failure would cause any loss of life, $30,000 or more in damage or interrupt service to 25 vehicles or more on any road, would be considered Intermediate or High Hazard and require an EAP.

A web based EAP Development tool has been developed. It is pretty complex. The template is 68 pages long. North Carolina dam owners can access the tool at:     https://staging.ncem.org/DamEAP/Default.aspx. Users are required to register and create a “North Carolina Identification” (NCID) before gaining access to the tool. The new law requires dam owners to update their EAP annually and that can be done with the tool. An inundation map is required and must be sealed by a professional engineer. Workshops to provide training on the tool are promised, but we haven’t heard of any yet.

We promise to stay informed and learn as much as we can about complying with the new law. I hope they extend the deadline, but please contact us if we can be of service.

Foster Lake & Pond Management provides the full range of lake, pond and stormwater BMP services and products. These include: construction, repairs, maintenance, certified inspections, fish stocking, fisheries management, lake mapping, vegetation management, docks, fountains and aeration.

We have provided aquatic and stormwater solutions to our North Carolina customers for 30 years. Call us at: 919-772-8548 or visit: www.FosterLake.com.   

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Net Zero Energy Headquarters for FL&PM

Net Zero Energy Headquarters Breaks Ground



Contact: Lou Gerics, AIA   919 832 6303


Johnny Foster

919 772 8548


RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA, September 30, 2014

Net zero energy building under construction in Garner, NC

Artist's rendering of our new building under construction near Garner, NC

Located in Garner, North Carolina, the new headquarters building for Foster Lake and Pond Management, promises to be one of the State’s few net-zero energy buildings. Designed by the Raleigh architectural firm, Innovative Design, the new facility will accommodate the offices, retail space and operations center for the growing company that manages lakes, ponds and stormwater devices for businesses, golf courses, subdivisions and developments throughout North Carolina.

A roof-integrated photovoltaic system will be implemented in the building in order to offset all of the energy demand not fulfilled through energy-efficiency, geothermal heating and cooling, daylighting, and passive solar strategies incorporated in the design.  Johnny Foster, in emphasizing his company’s focus on sustainable approaches to lake, pond and stormwater management, points out that “a high priority was also placed upon implementing bio-swales and a constructed wetland with aquatic plants in order to greatly reduce the pollutants typically associated with rainwater runoff.  We wanted to create a building that clearly shows our clients and neighbors our commitment to sustainable practices.”

Project architect, Lou Gerics with Innovative Design, stated “the real challenge was producing a net-zero energy building with numerous green design features and still getting it within budget.  It shows that you can have a great sustainable design and still respect the pocketbook.”

Innovative Design was founded in 1977 and since its inception has focused on creating energy-efficient, environmentally sensitive architecture.  Over the past 37 years our 4,755 green buildings have collectively saved our clients $139 million in energy bills, reduced their city water consumption by 295 million gallons and reduced peak utility demands by the equivalent of a 127 megawatt power plant.

For more information on Innovative Design see (www.innovativedesign.net) and for Foster Lake and Pond Management see (www.fosterlake.com).

Foster Lake & Pond Management provides the full range of lake, pond and stormwater BMP services and products. These include: construction, repairs, maintenance, certified inspections, fish stocking, fisheries management, lake mapping, vegetation management, docks, fountains and aeration.

We have provided aquatic and stormwater solutions to our North Carolina customers for 30 years. Call us at: 919-772-8548 or visit: www.FosterLake.com.   

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Why is Brush Removal Around a Pond Shoreline Important?

Difficult to inspect stormwater pond

Before brush cutting with difficulty inspecting

Stormwater ponds are not designed to be attractive. They are designed to catch runoff and release cleaner water gradually. Some communities keep the ponds attractive to increase property values. Some communities simply want expenses to be as low as possible. Regardless of the communities’ objectives the shoreline must remain accessible, inspectable and free from muskrats or other potentially damaging nuisance animals. That requires that overgrown

Stormwater pond after brush has been cut

After brush cutting - much easier to inspect

grass, weeds and brush be routinely cut.

Stormwater devices are now required at most new developments. One of the requirements is that they must be inspected regularly. Either the inspections are done by private companies or by government officials. If tall weeds, briars and brush limit access inspection will be difficult or impossible. The owner of the stormwater device will be required to cut the brush to make the site accessible and able to be inspected. Usually, there will be a relatively short time period for the required brush cutting. That limits the ability to get competing bids and generally increases the cost of the cleanup. If mowing and cutting is neglected for too long, trees will grow. Trees are not allowed on dams or near inlet or outlet structures. Trees are expensive to remove and discard.

Look at the photos above. Can you imagine the difficulty in inspecting the shoreline in the “before” photo? You can see that it would be much easier to look for muskrat holes, erosion gullies, seepage and nuisance growth of filamentous algae or invasive weeds along the shoreline in the “after” photo. Not only is inspection much easier, there is less suitable habitat for nuisance animals. Trees are cut when they are very small and easy to manage. Invasive or undesirable plants along the shoreline can easily be controlled. Desirable shoreline plants can be left to thrive with less competition for space, light and nutrients.

Many landscape companies don’t have the proper equipment, required licenses or simply don’t want to deal with slopes, wet soil and structures associated with stormwater devices. We have added the capability to do mowing, brush cutting and shoreline repair since so much of our work involves inspecting and maintaining stormwater ponds and devices. We have found that routine maintenance is much less expensive in the long run and avoids the surprises and budget busting bills associated with “emergency” maintenance. Please contact us if you have questions or would like to be included in our Preventive Maintenance Program for any lake, pond or stormwater device.

Foster Lake & Pond Management provides the full range of lake, pond and stormwater BMP services and products. These include: construction, repairs, maintenance, certified inspections, fish stocking, fisheries management, lake mapping, vegetation management, docks, fountains and aeration.

We have provided aquatic and stormwater solutions to our North Carolina customers for 30 years. Call us at: 919-772-8548 or visit: www.FosterLake.com.   

Posted in Aquatic Vegetation Management, Lake & Pond Management, Nuisance Animal Management, Property Managers, Stormwater Device (BMP) Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off