Got questions about how to manage your pond, fish and the wildlife around them? Two Montgomery, AL area sport fish specialists have the answers – all conveniently compiled on the pages of the new Southern Ponds and Wildlife magazine.
Don Keller and Barry Smith, co-owners of American Sport Fish hatchery in Montgomery possess between them more than 60 years of fisheries consulting experience. Through those years, they have counseled thousands of people throughout the Southeast on fish management issues, and they often find themselves repeatedly answering the same basic questions. That fact inspired them to establish Southern Ponds and Wildlife, a quarterly magazine dedicated to practical, reader-friendly information for successful pond and fish management in the Southeast.
Keller and Smith, both graduates of Auburn Universitys fisheries program, are no strangers to management issues on all levels – from small farm pond to large impoundments. Before becoming partners in the American Sport Fish hatchery in 1986, Keller was a District Biologist and Smith was Chief of Fisheries with the Alabama Game and Fish Division, jobs that brought them in close contact with a wide range of clients.
Through their hatchery business, the two Certified Fisheries Scientist have stocked lakes for former presidents George Bush and Jimmy Carter, Ray Scott of B.A.S.S., professional fishermen Tom Mann and Bill Dance, entertainers Hank Williams, Jr. and Alan Jackson, former football coaches Pat Dye and Gene Stallings, Harvard University and many others. They also have worked with many of the Souths best known hunting and fishing lodges and plantations and have shipped bass fingerlings all over the world – from Japan to South Africa.
Regardless of the customer, Smith and Keller kept hearing similar management questions from their clients. "Lake owners call us all the time to ask the same questions," said Keller. "We felt it was time to have a regular source of information on tried-and-true management techniques as well as new, emerging information on all facets of pond management."
"This magazine provides valuable information for all pond and lake owners interested in better managing their fish and wildlife resources – whether they want to maintain small ponds for their families and friends to fish or large lakes filled with trophy fish," added Smith. "We think it fills a niche that no other magazine has touched."
The magazine offers results of the latest fisheries management studies, success stories from pond and lake owners and articles on such specific topics as weed control, aeration, fish stocking, fertilization, harvest rates and raising trophy fish. Within the magazines pages, Smith and Keller blend their own expertise with advice from scientists and other fish and wildlife professional from throughout the region.
"Some 80 percent of the magazines content is dedicated to lake and pond management, while the remainder focuses on wildlife management," said Keller. "We even offer recipes for preparing your catch," he added.
The magazine is ideal for hunters and fishers, pond owners, commercial hunting and fishing lodges or plantation owners and many others interested in the great outdoors. "The magazine is rich in information, but its written in a format that makes this information easy for everyone to understand. We want this magazine to be something people read and then keep for years to come as a source of management information," noted Keller.
Year-long subscriptions to the magazine are $28. To subscribe, call 256-241-3317, order on-line at www.southernpondsandwildlife.com. Or send a check to Southern Ponds and Wildlife at 1100 Christine Ave., Anniston, AL 36207.