ATHENS – The Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame committee is pleased to announce, “Pond Boss” Bob Lusk of Granbury, Texas will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2024.
Lusk helped build the private fisheries industry in Texas and throughout the United States and is widely considered the top pond management expert in the country, generously sharing knowledge and advice through the Pond Boss website, magazine, Facebook page and online forum.
“Bob is a great credit to the state of Texas and has contributed immensely to the world of freshwater fishing and fisheries management,” said Kelly Jordon, Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame selection committee chairman. “Bob is a pioneer in the industry and has given selflessly of his time and expertise. His enthusiasm for being a good steward of the resource, whether its private or public is very impressive. Bob was resoundingly selected to be the 2024 inductee and the Hall of Fame is proud to have him as an inductee.”
Lusk was born in Fort Worth and at the age of 14, his family acquired land on the Brazos River between Granbury and Glen Rose. He found his passion for water and the aquatic species that lived there on this property and from then on Lusk knew he wanted to make a living working with fish. Lusk graduated from Texas A&M University in 1979 with a degree in aquaculture and fisheries management. Shortly after graduation, he leased a fish farm in Wichita Falls and started his business.
Fisheries knowledge, strategies and protocols were not where they are today when Lusk launched his venture. He confronted the challenges head on, accepted the risks and blazed a path forward. In 1981, Lusk began supplying fish to private pond owners through the Soil Conservation Service Districts, led by SCS (now NRCS) State biologist Gary Valentine. The program and business growth enabled Lusk and several others to increase fish availability statewide. It also allowed Lusk to develop true management strategies that pond owners could use to maximize the potential of their fisheries.
Lusk fine-tuned pond stocking and management over the next decade through trial and error and collaboration. Lusk helped launch Pond Boss Magazine with founding editor Mark McDonald in 1992, a publication that today has more than 3,500 subscribers in 42 states and six countries.
Lusk proceeded to transform numerous water bodies from livestock ponds to trophy fisheries. His innovations led to the development of fish foods with Purina Mills, giving pond owners options to feed multiples sizes of fish and species beyond channel catfish. The new feeding trends created a fish feeding industry.
He became the editor of Pond Boss magazine in 2004 and, under his guidance, the publication expanded beyond print into an online forum. Lusk facilitates conferences nationwide and hosts a weekly Q&A livestream on the Pond Boss Facebook page. The Pond Boss community is comprised of tens of thousands of pond owners nationwide, sharing knowledge and experience that improve all aspects of private waters.
Lusk’s Texas based business conducts consulting projects for private fisheries owners from New York to California. He employed dozens of biologists, with some going on to establish their own lake management ventures.
On top of being the nation’s leading private fisheries biologist and consultant, Lusk is an award-winning writer, author and photographer. He served as president of the Texas Outdoor Writers Association (TOWA) and received the organization’s L.A. Wilke award, the most prestigious award given by TOWA.
Lusk freely gives of his time and knowledge through multiple platforms, including the free discussion forum, where users from around the world ask questions and discuss pond-management topics. He also hosts a free live podcast on the Pond Boss Facebook page and viewers have access to a wealth of knowledge through videos on the Pond Boss YouTube channel.
Lusk actively gives back through the Bass Brigade Youth Leadership Camp each summer. He provides a copy of Pond Boss magazine to each student who attends, inspiring the next generation of fisheries biologists.
Lusk has garnered numerous honors and has multiple publications throughout his career:
- 2020 American Fisheries Society (AFS) Award for Excellence in Public Outreach
- 2020 AFS Fisheries Management Section Hall of Excellence (First Ever Private Pond Manager to be Inducted)
- 2014 Best Outdoor Magazine less than 25,000 Circulation from Texas Outdoor Writers Association
- Pond Boss Magazine (More than 3,500 subscribers)
- Pond Boss Online Forum (More than 16,500 registered users)
- Pond Boss Resource Guide
- Books: Basic Pond Management; Raising Trophy Bass; Perfect Pond… Want One?; Beyond the Basics: Fundamentals of Pond Management
- Texas Outdoor Writers Association L.A. Wilke Award
“When I started in the private fisheries management business 45 years ago this tremendous honor never crossed my mind,” said Lusk. “In fact, I’m still absorbing and soaking it in. It’s humbling to know, especially in a career like this, that others recognize the work enough to make the nomination and then to be voted in. It’s an awesome and humbling experience to be honored in the Hall of Fame.”
The Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame is housed at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens. Its mission is to “recognize and honor those who have made a lasting contribution to freshwater fishing in Texas, and to foster a sense of appreciation, awareness and participation in the sport of fishing.”
Since 1997, the Hall of Fame has inducted 38 individuals and organizations, including Wally “Mr. Crappie” Marshall in 2023. Lusk will be inducted as the 39th member during a ceremony at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in October.
Nomination are accepted year round, forms and instructions are available online or by calling (903) 676-2277.