UMATILLA, Ore. – The natural resources management staff at McNary Lock and Dam will offer tours of the Washington Fish View Room and the navigation lock on Saturdays and Sundays at 10 a.m., beginning Saturday, June 9, through Sunday July 1, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials at the dam announced today.
“The beginning of the summer is a great time to tour the Washington Fish View Room,” said Park Ranger Ben Nelson. “The sockeye run should be arriving at McNary Dam soon, and the Washington ladder provides a great chance to see them as they pass the dam.”
The tour also includes a stop by McNary’s navigation lock.
“Visitors will be able to take a look inside the lock and learn a little more about the role the Corps plays in navigation, and maybe be lucky enough to see a barge lock through” said Nelson.
North shore tours of the lock and the fish view room are pretty special because both are located in areas not ordinarily accessible to the public and tour participants must be escorted by Corps staff, Nelson noted. “We try to offer the tours at least a few times during the summer each year when the salmon are migrating because the Washington Fish View Room design provides some of the best underwater views into the ladder.”
To take advantage of this unique opportunity, check in with the security guard at the Washington-side gate to McNary Dam not later than 10 a.m. A park ranger will begin the tour at the navigation lock visitor center.
Visitors age 18 and older will need to provide photo identification for security purposes. Visitors are not allowed to carry cameras, backpacks, cell phones, purses and large hand bags inside secure areas of the dam -- please leave them in the vehicle. Visitors should wear sturdy walking shoes and expect to walk several flights of stairs. A drinking fountain and restrooms are located in the navigation lock visitor center.
To get there by traveling on Highway 82, take exit 131 east and follow the road to the north entrance of the dam; located at Columbia River Mile 292, on the north riverbank. For more information about this event, call the McNary Natural Resources Management Office at 541-922-2268.