FishPro’s prospects going swimmingly

Nestled in the rat-race world of business sits a company in Port Orchard dedicated to the preservation of fish.

Quietly, FishPro has developed into a national leader in fisheries design.

The full-service engineering and fisheries biology firm grew bigger recently with the announcement of a merger with HDR, the nation’s 20th largest engineering, architectural and consulting firm based in Omaha, Neb.

FishPro also has firms in Portland and Santa Fe, but the central offices are in Port Orchard, on Mile Hill Drive.

The combination of HDR’s expertise with water and transportation will fit perfectly with the FishPro’s expertise with its fisheries designs.

Ken Ferjancic, previous president and co-founder of FishPro and now vice president under the new corporate structure, said clients will see little change in business affairs.

“Joining the HDR network is a good move for FishPro because it gives us greater geographical reach as well as access to HDR’s wide range of services,” Ferjancic said in a press release. “We will continue to offer the same personal, one-on-one attention of our principals and dedicated fisheries staff.”

Marketing manager Dawn Mayes said FishPro’s future is bright.

“We do fish screening work,” Mayes said. “Our job is keeping fish out of danger in the water. We work with hydro plants and develop screening.”

The largest screen built so far stretches 1,500 feet, Mayes said.

“It’s small enough that not even eggs can go through,” she said.

Mayes said FishPro has done work in 46 states and three countries since its inception in 1978.

“We specialize in the design of fish hatcheries, conservation facilities, fish passage and protection, and habitat restoration projects,” Mayes said. “Our staff includes fisheries biologists as well as civil, mechanical, electrical and structural engineers. We have worked with federal and state agencies, local government, public and private utilities, irrigation districts and tribes.

Mayes said the merger with HDR should boost “our work in recovery and protection of endangered fish species.”

Recent FishPro projects include an innovative naturalized rearing salmon hatchery for the Nez Perce Tribe and Bonneville Power Administration in the Clearwater River subbasin in Idaho and a naturalized rearing and breeding refugium facility for the endangered Rio Grande Silvery Minnow in New Mexico.

FishPro is currently working on rehabilitation of four Nevada state fish hatcheries and fish screening projects in Washington, Oregon, and Canada.

The merger with HDR doesn’t come as a surprise.

The two companies had worked together on projects such as the White River Hatchery for Puget Sound Energy and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Howard Hanson Dam Outfall Fish Monitoring Station for the Seattle District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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