An entrepreneurial Pacific Northwest company recently developed a new system for moving fish from Point A to Point B.
Bellevue, Wash.-based Whooshh Innovations’ (That’s right: “Whoosh” was already taken) new invention can move fish at a processing plant, farm site, hatchery, or even over a dam through its patented transport tubes, which use pressure differentials to “whoosh” the fish from one place to another — gently, quickly and very cost-effectively, says company CEO Vincent Bryan III.
"There’s no doubt that we are challenging the status quo” when it comes to processing and wild fish passage, Bryan says. “Given the competitive nature of the aquaculture business and the importance of wild salmon to the Pacific Northwest, we are excited about the opportunities ahead for this new fish transport system.”
The patented system transports the fish through a slippery tube using air pressure instead of water. Fish as large as 30 pounds have been transported through the system, propelled by an average air pressure of 1 to 2 pounds per square inch at speeds ranging from 15 to 30 mph.
At commercial fisheries, fish are placed into the tube one by one. For systems in the wild, Whooshh has designed a “volitional entry and transport” element to the system that feeds the fish into the tube.
The Whooshh system is being tested for live fish passage at the Roza Dam hatchery facility on the Yakima River in Washington.