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by Larry

September, 2014

Is It a Bird, a Plane? No, It's a Flying Chinook Salmon!

Pacific salmon leaping at Willamette Falls, Oregon, 1950 (Wikipedia)
How do Pacific Northwest salmon scale the many high dams that now block rivers they must navigate in order to spawn upstream? We have probably all seen amazing videos of salmon over and over leaping to get beyond multiple obstacles to their successful reproductive efforts. Yet the reality is that by now so many dams are in the way of Chinook and other Pacific salmon species needing to reach spawning waters that very few manage it. Most die well ahead of their goals.

Enter The Salmon Cannon! A little company called "Whooshh (and yes, spelled that way, because: " 'Whoosh' was already taken") Innovations" has developed a system using vacuum and flexible pipes for safely moving fruit, potatoes, and now fish at abnormally rapid speeds across inconvenient distances or hurdles.

The salmon are sped along through the system's tubes at up to 22 mph and then "shot" out through the air, a few seconds later swimming ahead without apparent injury once reentering the stream a few feet to many yards upriver.

How cool is that!?

Compared with older, far more labor-intensive methods of transporting slippery Chinook around the many massive dams, flying fish are head and fleshy scaled "shoulders" above catching and trucking such special life forms, ones which, not altogether incidentally, also make for rather tasty and nutritious seafood meals.

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