Hydroelectric dams block the migration of fish swimming the Columbia River, but one company thinks it has come up with a perfect, if slightly absurd, solution: a pneumatic tube that sucks fish out of the water and then launches them through the air.
The company behind the idea even has a rather silly name: Whooshh Innovations. But they are quite serious about their fish transport system. They recently worked with the Yakama Nation Fisheries to test the system over the Roza Dam.
Typically, when salmon are unable to get past Columbia River barriers on their own, they are caught and placed on barges, trucks, or helicopters. (Whooshh's recent test involved shooting the fish into a tanker truck.) The Verge spoke with Whooshh vice president Todd Deligan, who claims that their system is both less labor intensive and less traumatic for the fish, despite how ridiculous it looks. Hopefully, it truly is less traumatic; the Department of Energy and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will be testing out the fish cannon in the coming weeks.