U.S. Army Corps of Engineers crews scraped barnacles from the large lock at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard on Friday as part of annual maintenance cleaning. The 55-foot-deep chamber was drained of water beforehand. Juvenile salmon passing through the Locks to Puget Sound have no easy passageway through the Locks. In fact, a significant number travel through a hazardous passageway — the large lock-filling tunnels. The fast water and sharp barnacles sometimes de-scale the juveniles, causing injury or even death. Scraping the barnacles off the tunnel walls helps ensure safe passage for the salmon. 

Watch video of workers inside the Ballard Locks

The large lock will be closed for maintenance through Thursday; the small lock remains open for vessels less than 120 feet in length and 26 feet in width. The annual maintenance is important to keep the 105-year-old Locks safe and operational for years to come.