GiGadgets | GiGadgets | Whooshh Tube ships salmons across dams

Whooshh Tube ships salmons across dams
A safe passage for salmons in spawning season
Michelle Wang
By Michelle Wang
Dec 21, 2017

When I first saw this Whooshh tube video, I had lots of questions lingering over my head, like “What? Shoot the fish like cannons? Do you have to migrate fish like this” Back then I only knew fish swim in the waters, and never expected to see them hit rocks or dams during their migration.

Having learnt much about the Whooshh tube and fish migration as well, I got a general idea that the method may be good news for some environmental protection departments which help migratory fish to move across dams or other obstacles, and eventually reach their spawning ground.

This is what the Whooshh tries to do. Originally designed to transport fruits from trees to trucks, the Whooshh tube is constantly optimized to provide a “fish passage” that moves the stranded fish from one end to the upstream.

Thanks to the pressurized system, the long tube can hold many fish species to get through safely, with 1.5 fish per second. Specifically, the Whooshh system utilizes the pressure differential around the fish and a light mist of water to drive it down through the tube to their destination.

Unlike the Salmon Cannon that shoots salmon into the water, the Whooshh now provides them a softer landing, with slight modification to its design. The fish may be happy to know it. 

Fresh seafood industry may be glad to have the Whooshh tube solution. Moving fish from tank to tank is tiresome and time-consuming. The Whooshh tube emerges, which is designed to address these problems. After deploying the tube, fish will jump out of the tube after travelling through the tube swiftly. Driving the fish to their destination tanks becomes much more effortless.

No more pull and drag as this conventional handling of fish which stresses the fish. The Whooshh is more fish-friendly, allowing the fish to enter the system on their own volition through controlled water flow.

Frankly speaking, the system is a big help in terms of fish processing and hatchery. After Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) adopted the system to sort and transport hatchery-bound fish on Washougal River, it went viral, and many departments, including US Bureau of Reclamation Dam in central Washington resorted to the novel system to help them deal with their problems.

The company also claims that it is environmentally-sustainable and cost-effective as the system uses little water and reduces operational costs to get the job done. Additionally, it involves “no mortalities or signs of injury to fish” that we don’t know for sure yet. 

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