Ballard Locks fish ladder is chock-full of salmon right now

The salmon are in full force at the Ballard Locks fish ladder right now, with hundreds of Chinook and sockeye making their way upstream for their annual migration.

According to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) salmon counter, 537 Chinook passed through the fish ladder on Aug. 8. The sockeyes, which typically peak earlier in the summer, are also in good quantity, with over 100 making their way through the locks on a daily basis.

Back in 2019, the salmon count through the Ballard Locks hit its lowest number since the WDFW started counting salmon: Just 16,000 salmon went through the fish ladder that year.

However, there’s been a steady resurgence ever since, with 22,492 in 2020, 36,618 in 2021, and 43,289 in 2022. This year could be on track for another healthy migration, with 24,702 already counted as of Aug. 8.

The fish ladder is open daily from 7 a.m. to 8:45 p.m. year-round.