New Video Screens in the 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.

In 1976 the Fish Ladder Viewing Gallery was built as a venue to watch salmon migrate through the Locks. It has had no major upgrades since it was opened over 40 years ago. Today, it needs serious improvements to physical structure, interpretive exhibits, and educational technology.

The current viewing gallery setting is a low-light concrete bunker hosting a hodgepodge of static and outdated interpretive displays.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 updated 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
  • Provide year-round education programs on large video screens above the fish viewing windows
  • Your donations make this renovation project at the Ballard Locks possible, thank you for your support!

    The 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.

    Artist's concept of the Legacy Fish Wall

    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!

    The Ballard Locks Fish Ladder Viewing Gallery Video Wall