Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1

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PUD Showcase

Meet Larry Lowe
Senior Environmental Coordinator

Employee of the Month for August

Employee of the Month

The rivers of the Pacific Northwest cascade from snow-capped mountains, placidly reflecting sky and forest or raging with awe-inspiring force. The responsibility of protecting the fish that ply these waters is in the capable hands of the PUD’s Natural Resources Team, including our Employee of the Month for August, Larry Lowe.

Larry is a Senior Environmental Coordinator in the PUD’s Natural Resources department. His duties include monitoring fish populations, water quality and flow, while adhering to the requirements mandated by the federal operating licenses of the PUD’s hydro projects.

“Larry is passionate about fish, and this is evident in every aspect of his work,” said Keith Binkley, the PUD’s Manager of Natural Resources. “Whether it is data collection or outreach to schools, he is committed to going above and beyond.”

When Larry joined the PUD in June 2010, he brought more than two decades of experience as a fisheries biologist for the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife. As lucky as we were to find Larry, he considers himself just as fortunate to have a job that takes him into the great outdoors for about half of his working hours. From floating rivers to measuring fish and taking scale samples, it’s all in a day’s work for Larry.

Larry’s passion and expertise has bolstered the PUD’s exceptional reputation for river stewardship. One of Larry’s many achievements is the development of a juvenile fish-trapping program on the Sultan River, a five-month effort each year the trap is operated. Mostly juvenile Chinook, chum and coho salmon are counted as they migrate out of the Sultan River. Every other year, pink salmon are counted. 

“In the Natural Resources department, we are always striving to collect the best data in the most efficient way,” said Keith, also noting that Larry has led the way in using sonar technology to count fish at the Diversion Dam on the Sultan River.

As comfortable as Larry is in the company of finned creatures, he’s also greatly appreciated as an approachable people person.

“I often refer to Larry as the Andy Griffith of our department,” explained Keith. “I believe many customers benefit by interacting with Larry. He is very engaging, and the combination of his professionalism and personality is hard to beat.”

Larry enjoys hiking and bird-watching as well as mushroom and berry picking. He’s the father of two sons and coached them in all sports as they were growing up – they are now 24 and 17. Larry’s wife is also a fisheries biologist (with the National Marine Fisheries Service). The Lowes’ youngest is fulfilling a life-long dream and starting at the University of Washington this fall, and Larry and his wife are planning many activities to fill their soon-to-be-empty nest.

Larry, we’re incredibly proud that you are part of the PUD family. Your knowledge and passion for the great outdoors have been a boon to the PUD’s stewardship efforts. What makes you a truly remarkable employee of the month is how you apply your knowledge with scientific precision and outside-the-box thinking to help fish thrive in PUD waters.

The PUD and our aquatic friends thank you!

Recent Awards

  • Hydropower Award (2017)
    The National Hydropower Association honored the PUD with a 2017 Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters award for its success in providing access to additional fish habitat in the Sultan River Basin, site of the PUD’s Jackson Hydroelectric Project. In late 2016, the PUD opened up six miles of additional fish habitat on the Sultan River by modifying a diversion dam on the upper reach of the river. Within weeks of the project’s completion, coho salmon were detected upstream – for the first time in nearly 100 years!
  • SAP Utility of the Year (2016)
    The PUD was named Utility of the Year by SAP, a multinational software corporation, for the utility’s ongoing “ONE” program, a multi-year software implementation that creates a foundation for the utility’s future business growth. The program greatly consolidates hundreds of software programs as part of a PUD continuous improvement effort.
  • Metering & Smart Energy International (2016)
    South African Metering & Smart Energy International, a media and research organization serving the utility industry, honored the PUD as a Global Smart Energy Elite for both its work with cybersecurity and utility transformation through the ONE program. The PUD achievements will be featured in the organization’s fall magazine.
  • NWPPA Excellence in Communication Award (2016)
    First Place/Publication: 2016 Current Calendar
  • NWPPA Excellence in Communication Award (2016)
    First Place/Social Media

To see more awards, click here.