The Salmon Cannon
I know what your thinking but No! It’s not a joke, despite sounding like something from a comedy sketch the Salmon Cannon is real and can fire up to 40 fish a minute.
Salmon have a difficult life. They are born in fresh water streams and migrate to the oceans where live there until growing to maturity. In order to breed they need to return to their spawning grounds which can involve swimming up hundreds of kilometers of streams and may involve navigating many obstacles along the way to reach the the spot where they were born. It’s one of nature’s wonders and one which mankind isn’t making any easier as many of the waterways are becoming blocked with artificial water constructs such as dams.
One solution to help migratory salmon is the fish ladder which was designed to help them negotiate these changed and difficult waterways. Now there is an alternative. The Salmon Cannon.
The invention comes from Whooshh Innovations and was adapted from a method which was designed to gently and quickly transport fruit over long distances. The team behind this discovered that hydroelectric dams were causing massive disruption to the salmons natural migratory routes. Many fish were becoming disorientated, injured or even killed due to turbines and spillways so the salmon cannon was created.
It works like a pneumatic tube. Salmon go in one end and the fabric tube creates a seal around the fish which causes a vacuum. The fish are then fired along at up to 10meters per second and safely transported around the dam. The salmon cannon has be tested at Roza Dam, Kalma Falls and Columbia River Gorge by the team manual feeding salmon into the device or letting them swim into it of their own accord.
This could be a real life saver for the salmon populations and has possible implementations in both the wild and fisheries.