The locks are next to this dam. The while tubes with water coming out, make it easier for the migrating salmon to get through.
There are walk ways all around this big place. Water is higher on one side and lower on the other. On the fresh water side boats dock.
This is the visitors center. The whole place is surrounded by beautiful gardens. The green on the sides is where the water is.
If boats are coming out to the ocean, they start out in high fresh water. They are roped to the sides that slowly let water out and take the boats down to the ocean level.
This is one of the gates that opens up. Walk ways are on top so foot passengers can cross. Each walk way has a tall red light that blinks and makes noise to let people know they must get off for the gate to open.
This is a sign to the fish ladder. The salmon have to swim upstream on stairs like this. Sometimes they are really high. With both Jason and Sarah we saw fish jump out of the water.
A Canadian Goose even went through all by itself. It seemed like he/she knew what it was doing and the boats waited for it. Good little bird!
This is on Lake Washington. I like the 3 different boats pictures here: a kayak, a tug boat and one of those boats I don't know the name of.
The locks are a very cool place to go. The summer time is a great place to see how it really works. You can even catch a tour or have a picnic there.
The locks and associated facilities serve three purposes:
- To maintain the water level of the fresh water Lake Washington and Lake Union at 20–22 feet above sea level (Puget Sound's mean low tide).
- To prevent the mixing of sea water from Puget Sound with the fresh water of the lakes (saltwater intrusion).
- To move boats from the water level of the lakes to the water level of Puget Sound, and vice versa.
The complex includes two locks, a small (30 x 150 ft, 8.5 x 45.7 meter) and a large (80 x 825 ft, 24.4 x 251.5 meter). The complex also includes a (235-foot, 71.6 meter) spillway with six (32 x 12-foot (3.7 m), 9.8 x 3.7 meter) gates to assist in water-level control. A fish ladder is integrated into the locks for migration of anadromous fish, notably salmon.
Operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the locks were formally opened on July 4, 1917, although the first ship passed on August 3, 1916. They were named after U.S. Army Major Hiram Martin Chittenden, the Seattle District Engineer for the Corps of Engineers from April 1906 to September 1908. They were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.