Saturday, 15 November 2014

Whoosh: ‘Salmon Cannon’ Shoots Fish Upstream to Spawn

by Laura Geggel, Staff Writer | November 13, 2014 02:00pm ET

The long tube wiggled and then violently wobbled, shaking as a salmon came blasting out the end and belly-flopped into the water.

Still in its pilot phase, the cannon-type device, "o'fish'ally" known as the Whooshh Transport Conduit, can zip fish between 16 and 33 feet per second (5 and 10 meters per second) above obstacles, such as dams, and toward their destination.

The device is designed to help salmon reach their spawning grounds, but late-night talk-show host and comedian John Oliver launched the so-called salmon cannon into the spotlight by giving his audience a preview of how it works, and pretending to use it to launch fake salmon at A-list celebrities, including Jon Stewart, Jimmy Fallon and Anderson Cooper.

But all jokes aside, the salmon cannon could play an important role in helping fish journey upstream. The tube's speed and flexibility may provide a more affordable and sustainable solution than other manmade waterways around dams that are currently used by migrating fish, said Vince Bryan III, CEO of Whooshh Innovations, based in Bellevue, Washington, and the creator of the salmon cannon.

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