State plans work on Capitol Lake fish ladder

bshannon@theolympian.comSeptember 12, 2013 

b.SALMON RULES.B1836

A salmon. (AP Photo/Barry Sweet, File)

BARRY SWEET — AP

Washington state has hired a contractor to inspect and repair the Capitol Lake fish ladder that lets migrating salmon move upstream from Budd Inlet. Roglin’s Inc. of Aberdeen is expected to start inspecting the situation at 4 a.m. Thursday and begin repairs once it determines what is blocking the wooden cells that make up the passage.

“Because of the damage, the salmon are pretty much blocked from getting upstream,” Department of Enterprise Services spokesman Jim Erskine said Wednesday. “They can still get up stream when we have a high tide but it has to be high enough so they can get up the ladder. But some tides are not high enough.”

The Department of Fish and Wildlife has told DES there is no emergency but that the repairs need to be made quickly. Erskine said the problem was noticed last Thursday and the agency hopes repairs can be done in two or three days.

The cause of the damage is still unknown. “We assume, but don’t know, it was caused by logs or other debris going through the ladder during one of the recent storms,” Erskine said.

The wood-walled salmon passage is built using heavy, 12-foot fir planks measuring 4 inches by 10 inches. The planks are stacked to form the cells.

Low tide is at 5:17 a.m. on Thursday, and Roglin’s has scheduled its work when its crew has the most access to the units, Erskine said.

bshannon@theolympian.com

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