Pressure in the Salmon Cannon

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Pressure in the Salmon Cannon

Dams are helpful to control water flow in rivers but they pose a major problem for migratory fish like salmon. The dam restricts the salmon’s ability to swim upstream and spawn. In the United States alone, there are 85,000 dams. To solve the problem, Whooshh Innovations created its Fish Transport System, also called the Salmon Cannon.

With the Salmon Cannon, fish are either manually placed in a tube or slide in via a gravity slide below the dam. Then the soft tubing conforms to the size of the fish so a column of water does not have to be moved. Moving a column of water in, for example, a 1,700 feet project would require 0.433psi/ft x 1700ft = 736 psi.

In contrast, by conforming to the fish, they are essentially pushed through the system using an average of one to two psi. According to Whooshh CEO Vince Bryan III, “The system builds lower air pressure in front of the fish and more behind them with just a single blower motor, working just like a pneumatic tube at a bank.”

Based on independent studies that showed no scale loss, eye damage or other injuries, the amount of pressure safely transports fish from one area to another. The Whooshh tubes can handle a variety of fish sizes but generally transport fish between 2 and 34 pounds. In a typical system, the fish travel between 16 and 26 feet per second or about 18 miles per hour.

Whooshh Fish Cannon

Salmon fed into the Salmon Cannon below the dam transport through a tube to be safely returned to the water upstream, where they can continue their journey to spawn.
Source: The Guardian and Whooshh Innovations.

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