Riley Starks

Executive Director

After graduating from WWU in 1972, Riley Starks bought a fishing boat and has been a lifelong commercial fisherman. In 1992, after moving to Lummi Island where reefnet fishing saturated the community, he bought one of the 50 gears then deployed in Legoe Bay, and has fished there every summer, since.

During Riley’s years on Lummi Island, he built Nettles Farm, now a culinary B&B; co-founded Lummi Island Wild, a fish company; and, from 2001-2013, created the present iteration of the Willows Inn on Lummi Island.

In 2017 Riley founded the Salish Center for Sustainable Fishing Methods with the goal of continuing the educational work he has done since 2001, first through the Willows Inn and then through Lummi Island Wild, educating people about the reefnet fishing industry and the sustainability of the Salish Sea. Where once there were hundreds of tribal reefnet gears, there are now only 11 non-tribal reefnet gears, and 1 Lummi Nation gear operating in the Salish Sea. With such small numbers, serious outreach needs to be maintained or reefnet fishing may disappear altogether. Reefnet fishing and other selective methods are the past, but also the best hope for the future of Salish Sea salmon populations.

Larry Mellum

Board President

In 2003 Larry opened Pike Place Chowder in the Pike Place Market and in 2007 he launched the second restaurant in Pacific Place Center. For the past eighteen years it has been an extraordinary journey. The restaurants have won countless awards, accolades and recognition from people, news agencies and organizations from around the country and the world.

Reflecting Larry’s commitment to the environment, all seafood in the chowders is 100% Certified Sustainable. He joined forces with Riley Starks and Salish Center in 2018 and has been a staunch supporter ever since, working to revive the Salish Sea, and restore the habitats for its inhabitants.

Read Larry’s message here.

Eli Harris, Salish Center Secretary

Eli Harris


Eli Harris has always been a pioneer in technology. He worked with Lotus Notes and web technologies at the beginning of the Internet revolution in 1995, and has worked extensively in Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, Denmark and Brazil, working for government agencies including the UN World Food Program in Rome. Eli has also worked with many companies large and small such as Ernst & Young, Minolta, Dupont and many clients in the insurance and manufacturing industries. In 2003, Eli decided to start his own Software as a Service(SaaS) company for Sales Force Automation (SFA) with a partner from Atlanta. In 2008 this company was acquired and became xRM Global, making Eli the CTO. In 2009 Eli helped take the company public on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:XRM) and helped take the company international by taking part in technology company acquisitions in both Brazil and the USA. Eli managed 3 software teams across India, Brazil, and the USA until 2011. Since 2011, Eli has been working with a few select clients and in 2017 Eli discovered crypto and has been working with it ever since.  

Working with Riley and the Salish Center for Sustainable Fishing Methods was the perfect opportunity for Eli to fulfill two of his most important heartfelt values. Being on the leading edge of technology and being of benefit to others, specifically helping our children and protecting our natural resources. Eli is excited to work on NFTs for the Salish Center. He still retains his love of taking risks and his roguish attitude towards forging ahead into unknown territory.

Eli enjoys spending time with his wife and dogs, fly fishing, yoga, biking, biohacking, and gardening.

Lucas Kinley

Vice President

Lucas Kinley is a member of the Lummi Tribal Nation. He has been a Commercial Fisher all of his life; following in the footsteps of his father, Larry Kinley, who died in 2018. Larry was a larger-than-life Lummi leader who is still an inspiration to tribal peoples up and down the West Coast. Lucas hopes to be as good a fisherman as his grandfather, legendary Fisher Francis ‘Goog’ Kinley.

For the past two years, Lucas has worked to reclaim his tribal heritage of reefnet fishing.