Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
|Description: Urban Site. The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (Ballard Locks) is located within the city of Seattle. It is the key navigational link between the salt water environment of Puget Sound and fresh water of Lake Washington. The Carl S. English Botanical garden contains many mature trees and shrubs that attract a variety of wildlife. You can also see migrating salmon as well as a number of seals, California Sea Lion, blue herons and bald eagles.|
Wildlife to Watch: Three salmon species migrate through the locks; the sockeye, chinook, and coho. Steelhead and occasionally cutthroat trout, relatives of the Atlantic salmon, also migrate up the fish ladder to reach their spawning grounds. The Seattle Audubon Society has also observed over 200 species of birds within the ship canal vicinity. These include the Great Blue Heron, the Bald Eagle and an assortment of songbirds. Visitors may even see muskrat and an occasional beaver. California sea lions and otters have become quite common in Puget Sound and frequently visit the locks during salmon migration seasons.
Special Tips: Sockeye, the largest fish run, can typically be seen anywhere from June to October with the peak of its run in July. Chinook can be seen from July through November peaking in late August. Coho can be seen from August to November with a peak in September. Steelhead may be seen between the months of mid-November and May. Throughout spring and summer the Great Blue Heron, otters, seals and sea lions are present.
Other Activities: Boats transiting the locks, fresh to salt water fish ladder, botanical garden, summer entertainment including concerts on Saturdays and Sundays as well as a Fuchsia show and car shows, staffed visitor center
Ownership: US Army Corps of Engineers
Size: 7 Acres
Closest Town: Seattle, WA
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: