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30 Years of FISH

As the Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery celebrated its 30th anniversary (1993-2023), we have compiled the historical accounts of the people who founded the organization.

In 1992, as the State of Washington listed the Issaquah Salmon hatchery for closure, a group of community members rallied to save the hatchery. Built in 1936 as one of many public works projects carried out during the Great Depression, the hatchery was in dire need of repair. City and county officials, business leaders, teachers and students began a letter-writing campaign that eventually got a reprieve for the hatchery and funding for another year. By the summer of 1993, FISH was incorporated and the first board members were generating ideas for sustaining the hatchery. Eventually, city officials committed up to $500,000 of matching funds to renovate the hatchery. As FISH Founder, Steve Bell explains, at the time that was a lot of money for a town of 10,000 people!

Click on the photos to read the accounts of our key founders. A special thank you to Grace Reamer for collecting and writing their stories. 

Brodie Antipa

Former Issaquah Hatchery Manager

Steve Bell

FISH Founder & First Executive Director

Debbie Berto

Former Publisher of the Issaquah Press

Randy Harrison

Former Boeing Spokesperson

Rowan Hinds

Former Issaquah Mayor

Mike Mahovlich

FIsheries Manager of Muckleshoot Tribe

Suzanne Suther

Former Executive Director, Issaquah Chamber of Commerce

Skip Rowley, Kelli Richardson, Jake Magill

Rowley Properties