Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day Trip: Ballard Locks

I was hiking with a friend in Carkeek Park the other day when she casually mentioned that the salmon were running at the Ballard Locks. Sweet! It's been years since I've seen activity at the fish ladder; I normally gravitate that way during the winter, when the salmon are out to sea. 

I had an appointment in the general vicinity yesterday so afterwards I popped over to check 'em out. You know it's a shame: I love Ballard. The shops, the restaurants, the Ship Canal, Archie McPhee, etc but it's so darn hard to get there that I rarely venture west beyond the zoo. Frankly, it's probably easiest to get there by bike, as the Burke Gilman runs directly past the locks. Next time. 

 The salmon were out in full force as were a contingent of others: gulls, herons, and harbor seals. 

 I have to assume that the heron was going for slightly smaller fish than the salmon. A full grown Chinook would have been a massive beak-full.

 It was easy to track the path of the seal based on the fish activity:  a bow wake of madly jumping fish preceded his/her underwater route. 
 The fish ladder.
Can anybody ID these guys? Kings, reds, silvers, pinks? All of the above?
 I would have said Chinook on the guy above but I'm not sure. We'll have to ask the kid from Alaska (aka Chris). 

 Somebody was clearly looking for lunch...
 The attached botanical gardens are a great place for a nice stroll or a picnic. 
And that, my dears, is the end of my adventure at the locks.