Saturday, August 12, 2006

Locks and Salmon

We visited the famous locks in Seattle which were built by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1917. The above picture shows the names given the locks and garden.

The first picture below shows boats inside a lock which floated them from sea level of the Puget Sound to a higher elevation for entry into Lake Washington.

The bottom picture was taken inside the fish ladder viewing room. There were lots of children and adults crowded next to the windows to see large sockeye and chinook salmon making their way upstream to spawn in areas of Lake Washington's tributaries.

The park employee in the bottom picture explained the interesting life-cycle of salmon. Here are some facts she related:

Salmon live 4 to 5 years.

They're born in fresh water and die naturally in fresh water.

Between birth and death, salmon live in salt water.

When salmon leave the ocean to fresh water to spawn, they swim in place for a few hours when they reach fresh water to allow their gills and lungs to adjust.

After they begin their swim from the ocean to fresh water spawning areas, salmon never eat again. Their body will undergo a transformation to an ugly shape and discoloration.

The female will lay about 2 thousand eggs, then the male covers them with sperm. The male and female then die. Their bodies contribute valuably to the ecology.

Only 2 or 3 salmon will reach maturity from the 2000 eggs.

Phil and Jennifer took us to several Seattle restaurants where salmon was on the menu. They were cooked to perfection and were delicious beyond any I've had anywhere else.

Return here on Monday, August 14 for an update.

Have a good day!



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