Smolt slides installation underway at the Locks

Work is underway this week to install the smolt slides* for the Ballard Locks fish ladder.

The smolt slides are basically “baby salmon slides”, which allow younger salmon a safe route to transition from fresh water to salt water, Natural Resource Specialist Katie McGillvray tells My Ballard.

The slides, installed every year in April, “send them off to adulthood until they grow up and return to spawn.”

The slides are then removed at the end of the summer so they can get ready for the rainy season and free up the spillway to pass water, McGillvray says.

Work will continue this week and possibly next week — head down to the Ballard Locks if you want to see the progress and learn more.

*An earlier version of this story used the word “flume” instead of “slide”, which is the correct term.

Photo courtesy of the Locks’ Facebook page

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