Volunteers build their own hatchery, restore a salmon run

"...working on a project like this has been really fun, one of the best working things I've ever done," said Mike Anderson, who works for Sabey Corp.

Volunteers are working to revive a Tukwila stream, hidden away in the woods behind their office, where they run a salmon hatchery in their spare time.

“I’m a building engineer, I work on buildings all day long, so coming and working on a project like this has been really fun, one of the best working things I’ve ever done,” said Mike Anderson, who works for Sabey Corp., a real estate development and investment company.

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Anderson and a handful of colleagues tend to salmon fry in their small hatchery along Riverton Creek, tucked in the woods near a Sabey Corp. building.

Sabey employees started the hatchery in 1999, and have helped restore the stream after years of neglect by removing culverts, clearing shrubs, extracting sediment, and planting trees.

“We’ve spent millions of dollars redeveloping the stream, it was in pipes, and when we came here 25 years ago it was a mess, there was nothing in this stream,” said David Sabey, president of Sabey Corp.

Today, juvenile salmon swim in the shallows, and they are joined by thousands more each February after volunteers release the fish from the hatchery.

Now, each summer, adult salmon thrash their way upstream, past the Sabey building, where they started their journey.