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PNNL to Study Effectiveness of "Salmon Cannon"

May 2015

In an effort to reduce the impact of hydropower dams on migratory fish, PNNL is evaluating the viability of the Whooshh Fish Transport System, also known as the "salmon cannon." The Whooshh Fish Transport System was developed by Whooshh Innovations, LLC as a gentler, more environmentally sustainable method to move migrating fish past obstacles. Compared to current methods, this new transportation system could significantly reduce costs associated with fish migration assistance.

There are more than 2,500 hydroelectric dams in the United States. Current fish passage systems, such as ladders, fish lifts, and trap and haul programs, can be costly and in some cases harm fish. Consequently, DOE has called for new technology to understand and reduce the impact of hydropower on rivers and fish.

The Whooshh Fish Transport System uses a flexible tube and a pressure system to guide fish over and around structures. Compared to methods used today, the system could guide fish more quickly and safely at less cost.

PNNL research scientist, Alison Colotelo with the Ecology Group, is evaluating different lengths of tubes to compare different scenarios where the system could be utilized. Preliminary testing shows no obvious signs of injury to fish traveling through the transport system.

PNNL is collaborating with Whooshh Innovations through DOE's Wind and Water Power Technologies Office.

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