Flying fish

Much has been said and written about the problem of getting salmon up and over several hundred-foot tall hydroelectric dams so they can return home to spawn. Yes, there are fish ladders and fish lifts and locks to move them, and some fish are even trucked to the next stop on their migratory journey. But these answers are all quite expensive, not to mention stressful for the fish.

Whooshh Innovations of Bellevue, Wash., has come up with a solution, according to The Whooshh Transport System “that sucks the fish up through a plastic tube and shoots them over obstacles low and tall like so many piscatorial projectiles” (

Think of it as a fish gun. Once the fish reach the end of the tube (which can be hundreds of feet long) after sliding along on a water mist lubricant at from 16 to 32 feet per second, they pop out, fly through the air, and land in the water at their destination.

You can watch videos of the process at Whoosh’s website at

Whooshh claims the system is quick to set up and take down, can be used all year long, and handles 33-pound fish at a rate of 40 per minute.

More importantly, Whooshh says the slide trip doesn’t damage the fishes’ eyes or scales – but it might surprise them. Indeed.

— Elleda Wilson

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