Fish Hatchery and Environmental Education Center

Bruce teaching kids about salmon

Hatchery History

Long before Lynnwood became a city, Native Americans visited Hall Lake to collect berries and cattails along its shore. In the 1880's the first homestead was filed on 160 acres on the east shore of the lake. Learn more about some of Hall Lake's first inhabitants here.(PDF, 562KB)

In 2015 the City of Lynnwood jumped on an opportunity to purchase a piece of property on Hall Lake. The city had long wanted easy access to the lake for water quality monitoring purposes. Shortly after purchasing the property, a long time resident of the lake Bruce Lawson approached the city with a great opportunity.

For almost 30 years Bruce, along with some close friends, have been raising and releasing salmon into Hall Lake. When Bruce saw the city purchase the property on the lake he saw it as a great opportunity for us to become involved.

For the past 4 years, with Bruce's guidance, we raise and release 30,000 coho salmon into the lake each year. We partner with Nature Vision to offer environmental education to students throughout Lynnwood. They go into schools and teach students about habitat connections, watersheds, soil health and the water cycle. Students then get to visit our hatchery and environmental education center to learn about water quality, native plants, the salmon life cycle, and even get a chance to release their own salmon into the wild!

Boardwalk Ribbon Cutting Ceremony 

Watch our virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the dedication of the city’s Fish Hatchery and Environmental Education Center boardwalk to the man who built it, Chris Rodriguez. Chris was the crew lead for the Veterans Conservation Corps (VCC), a US Marine Veteran, father, son, and brother to us all. Chris passed away in 2019 from health complications but will continue to make a lasting impact on people’s lives by these great projects he poured his heart and soul into. 


Pick-Up and Transfer of Coho Salmon Eggs!

Each year the City picks up 30,000 fertilized Coho Salmon eggs from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's hatchery in Issaquah. City staff and community volunteer Bruce Lawson then bring them back to our hatchery on Hall Lake to raise them until they are big enough to release. Check out the process below! 


Virtual Fish Release!

Join Cameron for a virtual salmon release into Hall Lake!


Closed Captioning: Hi, this is Cameron from the City of Lynnwood. I am here at our hatchery and environmental education center and today we are releasing the last of our Coho Salmon into Hall Lake


Closed Captioning: Here are our Coho salmon that we will be releasing into the lake here in a second. We have raised them in our hatchery and environmental education center for the past three months and now it is time for them to go into the wild here at Hall Lake! 

Closed Captioning:  These Coho salmon will spend the next 2 years in freshwater before heading out to the Puget Sound and into the open ocean. Here begins their journey! These fish will either stay here in Hall Lake or they will work their way down Hall Creek into Lake Ballinger, from Lake Ballinger they go to McAleer Creek into Lake Washington, and from Lake Washington they head out Ballard Locks into the Puget Sound and out to the open ocean. After 2-3 years in the open ocean they will head back and probably go to Issaquah where they were originally from, from the state hatchery there and spawn and create the next generation of Coho salmon. Good luck little fishies! 

Environmental Demonstrations 

Besides our fish hatchery we have some other awesome environmental demonstrations on site. These include: 


Rain Barrels

Rain barrels are a great way to collect water to use later on. There are many benefits to harvesting water with rain barrels. In addition to helping you conserve water, rain barrels can help you to:

  • Cut your household use of water during the hot summer months

  • Water your plants with chlorine-free rainwater that they prefer

  • Clean your car, bike, tools, etc. without ever using the faucet

  • Provide water to livestock

  • Save money on water bills

  • Protect local streams and Puget Sound

Learn more about rain barrels and even buy one by visiting the Snohomish Conservation District's website. 

Rain Barrels

Rain Gardens

Rain gardens are not only beautiful but they also serve important functions. 

Rain gardens: 

  • Enhance the landscaping and appearance of homes and yards

  • Provide habitat for beneficial insects and birds

  • Filter oil and grease from driveways, pesticides, and fertilizers from lawns, and other pollutants before they reach groundwater or the storm drain and eventually streams, wetlands, lakes and marine waters

  • Filter runoff from agricultural land to help prevent pollutants like manure from washing into our waterways

  • Reduce flooding on neighboring property, overflows in sewers, and erosion in streams by absorbing runoff from hard surfaces

  • Increase the amount of water that soaks into the ground to recharge local groundwater


Urban Agriculture

Growing your own food and eating local can really help you cut down your carbon emissions. Gardening has also been shown to reduce stress and anxiety and provide a great source of exercise for people of all ages. Check out the Snohomish Conservation District's Lawns to Lettuce Page.  Their experts can help you with site selection and provide the resources you need for a successful garden! 

Urban Agriculture Example

Native Plantings

We have planted hundreds of native plants on site. Native plants offer food and shelter for beneficial insects, birds, and other animals. Some other benefits of native plants are that they are well adapted to our climate of wet winters and dry summers, they require less water than non-native plants, they resist native pests and diseases better, they improve water quality by needing less fertilizer and no pesticides, and they require little maintenance. 

Some of the native plants located on site include: 

  • Indian Plum 
  • Red Flowering Currant 
  • Thimbleberry 
  • Salmonberry 
  • Red Osier Dogwood 
  • Salal 
  • Oregon Grape 
  • Snowberry
  • Nootka Rose 
  • Coastal Strawberry 
  • Kinnikinic 
  • And more! 

Smart Watering System

To irrigate our garden beds and native plants we set up an efficient micro-spray watering system. This allows us to water each plant individually for a set amount of time. This allows us to put the water directly where we want it at the soil surface. This reduces the amount of water that is lost to evaporation and runoff. 

Learn how you can water smart by clicking here.(PDF, 1MB)

Smart watering system

Pollinator Habitat

We created a "pollinator strip" to attract and support our important pollinator species. Did you know that 1 out of every 3 bites you take was made possible by a pollinator? These species are increasingly important as bee populations decline due to habitat loss and pesticide use. Creating good pollinator habitat not only benefits our bees and butterflies but it also helps your garden! 

Learn more about pollinators and what you can do to help by visiting the Xerces Society website. 


Interested in having a tour of our facility? Contact Kayla at or 425-670-5245