Life as a salmon isn’t easy these days. On top of being hunted by apex predators such as the grizzly bear, wolves, and also black bears, they have to deal with the human factor: overfishing, development, and perhaps most inconveniently, dams. As the keystone species try to move upstream to spawn, these man-made roadblocks interrupt a natural process that represents a transfer of nutrients from the ocean to the forest ecosystem. Time and time again, it has been proven that these roadblocks have resounding effects on the entire ecosystem of the Pacific Northwest.
While dams don’t always completely block Salmon from swimming upstream, studies (and common sense) have shown that they can impede migration greatly. To help mediate this issue, alternatives to dams are constantly being explored, and some have even been destroyed. When neither of those are an option, Whoosh Industries has a solution: The Salmon Cannon.
Developed as part of their overreaching ethos to help the safe passage and handling of fish, the Salmon Cannon uses a pressurized tube to allow Salmon to safely pass above water from one side of a dam to another. By using a pressure differential, the fish are actually able to “swim” through the tube, and arrive safely on the other side of the dam.
The best part? The mechanism is actually set up on a trailer, making it totally mobile and able to tend to different rivers all over the northwest. These types of innovations are exciting to see—hopefully, it can help combat a serious problem that faces the amazing salmon species.—ML
Firing Salmon through cannons isn’t all Whoosh does—check out all their other amazing work at Whoosh.