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!

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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