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BALLARD LOCKS FISH LADDER

Help us renovate the Ballard Locks Fish Ladder Viewing Gallery!

The Hiram M. Chittenden (Ballard) Locks is a 100-year-old facility and this Seattle icon is in drastic need of updates for visitors. The Locks hosts approximately 1.2 million visitors a year and the Fish Ladder is its primary educational attraction.

Artist's concept: renovated Fish Ladder Viewing Gallery


The Fish Ladder Viewing Gallery was built in 1976 as a venue for people to watch the salmon migration through the Locks. It has had no major upgrades since it was created 40 years ago. It’s in need of major renovations to physical structure, interpretive exhibits, and educational technology.

old fish ladder The current gallery setting is a low light, concrete bunker that is in great need of improvements. In addition to the poor physical environment of the viewing area it currently has only a hodgepodge of static and outdated interpretive displays.

This environment does not serve as a good first impression of the Seattle area for the 1.2 million annual visitors from our region and around the world. It also does not serve the educational needs of the 250,000+ school children that visit the Fish Ladder annually for school field trips, summer camps, and family outings. Together, we can make it better!

When completed, the Fish Ladder Viewing Gallery will:
  • Improve the "dreariness"
  • Improve the lighting quality
  • Improve the acoustical quality
  • Provide dedicated ranger speaking posts

  • New gallery exhibits will:
  • Expand interpretive opportunities
  • Connect interpretive messages from the plaza with the underwater viewing story
  • Better utilize the space given
  • Provide year-round education on large video screens above the fish viewing windows

    Your donation can make this renovation project at the Ballard Locks possible! Thank you for your support!

    The Legacy Wall

    Legacy Wall

    While we have received several generous grants for the Fish Ladder Viewing Gallery renovation, we also need help from the local community and businesses to bring this project home.

    We are installing a Legacy Wall at the entrance of the Fish Ladder to honor donors who can step up and support this important project with a legacy contribution. By donating, your family, community, or company will be part of a substantial public art installation that will be there for generations to enjoy through an inscribed stainless steel Legacy Fish. This is an opportunity to make a contribution to an essential Seattle cultural experience that will last a very long time.

    Share your contribution on the Legacy Wall, select a Legacy Fish and make your donation today!

  • Sockeye: 18x4" stainless steel fish with personalized 30 character inscription
    1k fish
  • Coho: 24x5" stainless steel fish with personalized 34 character inscription
    5k fish
  • Chinook: 24x5" treated stainless fish with personalized 34 character inscription
    10k fish

    Please help us support education and interpretation at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks and Lake Washington Ship Canal. Your contribution will enhance visitors' appreciation of this historic Seattle landmark for many years to come. We're a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, so your contribution is tax deductible. Thank you!

    We welcome donations of all sizes to help the Fish Ladder Renovation Project and visitor experiences at the Ballard Locks. Please click here to contribute a different amount. Thank you for your support!

  • Make a Difference Today!

    Ballard Locks Fish Ladder

    Support educational programs and visitor services that inspire the next generation! Your contribution today helps ensure that you and your family will enjoy wonderful experiences at the Ballard Locks for generations to come. Thank you for your support!

    Make a Legacy Wall donation today!

    1k fish