One of Issaquah’s treasures is its salmon run and the Issaquah Creek. Located near the Cascade Mountains, the Issaquah hatchery is more than just a facility; it is a testament to the delicate balance between human activity and the preservation of nature’s wonders.
Each fall, as the salmon embark on their epic journey back to their spawning grounds, thousands come to celebrate the miracle of the return of the salmon and experience the wonder of these iconic creatures.
Championing the Cause
In the early 1990s the Department of Fish and Wildlife announced plans to close the hatchery due to financial and maintenance constraints. Through the combined efforts of the city of Issaquah, the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, Rowley Properties, and other local champions the hatchery was saved, and Friends of the Issaquah Hatchery (FISH) was formed to ensure the preservation of salmon for future generations. A salmon educational center was created which is now the largest in the state. Supported by dedicated volunteers and experts, FISH helps keep the salmon coming home and has over 200,000 visitors a year to witness the miracle of these iconic creatures.
Kelly (Rowley) Richardson: A Story of Dedication and Passion
For Kelly (Rowley) Richardson, the cause is more than just a passion; it is a way of life. Serving as a FISH docent for years, Kelly’s focus has been to nurture a deeper understanding of the salmon’s life cycle and ecosystem and preserving the habitat for future generations. Having also served on the board of directors, including a tenure as chair, Kelly has played a role in fostering a sense of community and responsibility among the residents, businesses and visitors of all ages coming to the hatchery
Spreading the Message: A Journey of Discovery
In a recent endeavor, Kelly organized a tour for approximately 25 Rowley Properties commercial tenants, providing them with a firsthand experience of the wonders of the miracle of the salmon coming home at the hatchery. The tour not only captivated the participants with insights into the lives of the salmon but also shed light on what can be done to help keep the salmon coming home. Kelly’s dedication to sharing knowledge and fostering community engagement remains a testament to the power of education, inspiration, and collective action.
Visiting the Issaquah salmon hatchery is more than just a trip; it is an invitation to witness nature’s resilience and the human spirit’s dedication to education and conservation. Visitors are reminded of the profound impact of collective efforts in preserving natural wonders that enrich lives. Join us in embracing the awe-inspiring journey of the salmon’s return and be a part of supporting the hatchery’s vital mission. For more information, visit: http://issaquahfish.org