Both the large and small locks at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks will be closed to all marine traffic from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. tomorrow. The closure is needed so that dive teams can inspect the salmon exclusion structure immediately upstream of the locks.
The Corps of Engineers, which operates the locks, installed an interim structure to prevent salmon from being trapped in the saltwater return system. During the 2009 salmon migration, biologists only found one adult coho salmon in the return system. The structure prevents salmon access to the locks’ salt water 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 during migration and opened when the salmon are not migrating.
If you are boating on Tuesday, you can call the lockmaster on duty at 206-783-7000 to verify that the locks are open.