Bringing Fishing to Your Golf Community

By: Steve Habel

Waters of America utilizes a team of biologists and environmental architects to design, build and manage wetland areas and trophy fishing lakes that serve as amenities for golf course, master-planned and resort-style communities. The company's principals ensure that all water features are constructed with ecologically and structurally sound design, produce healthy wildlife and fishery habitat, provide a source of outdoor recreation, and add natural elegance and beauty to any landscape.

"We are trying to jumpstart Mother Nature, and what your pond or lake will produce is all natural," said Hub Bechtol, one of the principals of the Austin, Texas-based Waters of America. "Water is easier to maintain than grass or landscaping, and wetlands are nature's own bio filters."

Waters of America lakes involve the creation of forage fisheries that are cost-effective and present natural feeding and faster fish-growth rates. The firm also offers custom lake design and construction, trophy fishing lakes, wetlands, water retention impoundments, fisheries management and fish stocking.

Waters of America was founded by Jason Parrish, John Schwarzlose, Hub Bechtol and Roy Bechtol - the noted community planner and golf course designer. The firm is the most recent addition to Bechtol Communities, joining Bechtol Golf Design and Planned Environments, two firms known for environmental development through conscientious land planning.

Roy Bechtol's passion for combining outdoor recreation and environmental responsibility with his architectural endeavors led to the creation of Waters of America, which he sees as a natural offshoot of his two other firms. "With these three companies, we continue to create value and a great lifestyle for our clients," Roy Bechtol said.

By being affiliated with Bechtol Golf Design and Planned Environments, the latter of which has been involved in residential and resort community planning for nearly 35 years, Waters of America has the opportunity to capitalize on the rapidly growing trend of offering fishing lakes as the development's primary amenity in addition to golf and other recreation.

"My job is to make sure these lakes not only provide community members with truly legendary angling opportunities, but provide quality habitat for a diversity of wildlife as well," said Schwarzlose, a Waters of America principal and biologist. "What could be more rewarding than helping to protect our wildlife and fishing resources while simultaneously creating opportunities for more people to enjoy nature. I am very pleased to be involved in the enhancement of wildlife and fisheries resources as well as helping people become more involved in outdoor recreation on such a broad scale."

"Fishing or just getting outside to enjoy nature is an activity that the whole family can enjoy and use as a catalyst to build relationships," Parrish said. "Part of the reason for the increasing popularity of fishing and nature-oriented communities is that as baby boomers look to retire, they take into account the value of having access to activities they can share with their grandkids."

Steve Habel is an Austin, Texas-based journalist. Since 1990, he has traveled around the globe covering news, business and sports assignments for various news bureaus, newspapers, magazines and websites. He also contributes to Business District magazine in Austin as managing editor and is the Texas football beat writer and a contributing editor for Horns Illustrated, the Austin-based magazine for University of Texas sports. Habel writes a weekly golf column for The River Cities Tribune in Marble Falls, Texas, and is a member of the Texas Golf Writers' Association.