Tennessee Pond Management: Thoughts on Qualifications, Part II

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Our owner now has a master’s degree in fisheries science from the University of Florida and is in the process of turning lake and pond management on its ear.


A while back I made a post about qualifications. The impetus for that post was the fact that from time to time, I had lost out on this or that new account because I didn’t have a degree in the field in which I work. Most pond and lake owners seem to care more about experience and knowledge than the degree, but every now and then I will have a potential new client ask me what my background is, and whether I have a degree in the field. While it is true that for the last three years we have had all the work we could handle, I never want to give a potential customer a reason to hire one of my competitors…

I already have four degrees in two other fields, one of them from the #11 university in the nation according to U.S. News and World Report (Johns Hopkins), and another from the #21 university in the country (USC). But I really, really hate to lose out on any customer; eventually, whether it happens two years or five years from now, we will be the largest pond and lake management company in this state; every new customer is another opportunity to create another unbelievable fishing escape and another person who will bring us more new business via recommending us to his friends, and every opportunity lost, whether for a good reason or a bad one, is still lost opportunity. (More than one of my most satisfied, loyal clients now, had to be convinced when they first contacted me that I was the right man to manage their pond.) So, in January 2017, I went back to school for my fifth degree.

I’m now a few months away from having a master’s in fisheries science from the University of Florida, the top-ranked biology program among all online fisheries programs. Coursework that normally takes two or more years, took me one. Did I learn a lot? Absolutely. Was I humbled to discover that all those consultants that a year ago had the formal training I didn’t, were actually far more knowledgeable than I was before I took those courses? Anything but.

I learned more just how haphazard and careless most of those people are.

If you want your pond to be the best it can be, hire us.  If you’re content with mediocre results, hire our competition.