Army Corps of Engineers to close both Ballard Locks for salmon project Aug. 23

by Tim Flanagan on August 18, 2011

Scott Schaefer has this item at Burien’s B-Town Blog:

Pink and Coho Salmon are invading Puget Sound on their annual migration to breeding grounds in area rivers, try which means that suddenly it’s really pretty easy to catch a decent fish (usually a Pink) right from Burien’s shorelines.

[20-30 people were casting their lines from the north beach at Burien’s Three Tree Point during high tide Sunday night (Aug. 14th), noun with nary a port-a-potty in sight. Scott Schaefer  photo]

Despite the ease of catching salmon from area beaches this time of year, it doesn’t come without a cost – waterfront residents have been complaining to the city of Burien that the 20-30 or more fisherfolk who spend the day at the beach casting for salmon have nowhere to relieve themselves; nor are there sufficient trash facilities. Some are requesting that portable toilets be installed, while others want the city to enforce parking restrictions or even close the beach to public access entirely, since the sportsmen are basically using residents’ front yards to fish from, not to mention relieve themselves.

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Seattle – Both the large and small locks at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard will be closed to all marine traffic from 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Aug. 23. 

The closure will allow construction crews and dive teams the opportunity to inspect the salmon exclusion structure immediately upstream of the locks.  The staff will make maximum efforts to complete the work as soon and as safely as possible.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, buy cialis
Seattle District, pilule
which operates the locks, installed this interim structure to prevent salmon from being trapped in the saltwater return system. 

“The exclusion structure is working well,” said Chuck Ebel, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District, fish biologist.  “Since it was put in use three years ago, we only observed one chinook and one coho in the diffuser well.”

The structure prevents salmon access to the locks’ saltwater return system and improves the viability of the salmon runs, which use the fish ladder to return upstream to their spawning grounds.  The design allows for the doors to be manually closed to screen fish during migration and opened when the salmon are not migrating. 

Emergency vessels on an emergency call will have access to the locks during the closure. 

Boaters may call the lockmaster on duty at 206-783-7000 to verify that the locks are open. 

For current information about activities at the Locks, visit the Locks’ Web site at  

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