Weekend Diversion: Saving Salmon… with a Cannon! (Synopsis)

“You ain’t supposed to get salmon when they’re swimming upstream to spawn. But if you’re hungry, you do.” -Loretta Lynn

One of the most remarkable stories in the natural world is the end-of-life story of the salmon. After being born in a stream, tributary, or other small spawning ground, baby salmon swim downstream into the ocean, and then back upstream to their original spawning ground -- often many hundreds of miles -- to spawn and die. Have a listen to Leftover Salmon’s song this week,

It's Your World,

while you consider how the advent of hydroelectric dams has changed things.

Image credit: Pedro Vásquez Colmenares, via his flickr account at http://www.flickr.com/photos/pvcg/3412711352/. Image credit: Pedro Vásquez Colmenares, via his flickr account at http://www.flickr.com/photos/pvcg/3412711352/.

Yes, they generate green energy, they have virtually no carbon emissions, and they can be a tremendous good in this world. But there are also a whole host of environmental problems that dams can create, and one of the more difficult ones to solve -- made harder by the size of the larger dams -- is just how salmon can get over these barriers.

If only there were some clever solution that took advantage of physics.

Come learn about Whooshh Innovations' salmon cannon, and how it might be on the precipice of restoring salmon farther upstream the Columbia River than they have been since pre-dam times!

More like this

tags: salmon, wild Pacific salmon, commercial salmon fishing Approximately 200 chefs from restaurants in 33 states have signed a letter that was delivered to legislators in Washington DC today, asking Congress to pass laws that will restore healthy habitats for the decimated wild salmon species…
“If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.” -Mario Andretti One of the toughest things to wrap your mind around in the natural world is the idea of special relativity: the faster you move, the closer you get to the speed of light, the more difficult it becomes to increase…
"Mars once was wet and fertile. It's now bone dry. Something bad happened on Mars. I want to know what happened on Mars so that we may prevent it from happening here on Earth." -Neil deGrasse Tyson Oh, it's true alright, something bad did once happen on Mars. And although there isn't any real…
"Unfortunately, I'm not one of those people who take pictures, you know, carry a camera. Because if I did I'd have stacks and stacks and stacks of different acts." -Edwin Starr You've been outside enough to know that the deepest photos of the Universe -- of the night sky -- aren't quite the same…

NB. the dying salmon are of the pacific variety. here in Europe we get long-lived salmon who return to spawn again and again.
I grew up near the big Norrfors rapids and when a dam was built, the construction of a "salmon stair" was a condition for the construction to proceed.

By BirgerJohansson (not verified) on 08 Sep 2014 #permalink