Salmon Cannon company presents in Siskiyou
process leading to removal of the Klamath Dams continues to
march forward, numerous citizens in Siskiyou County have
continued fighting to keep the dams in place. Many of those
dam advocates are members of the Siskiyou County Water Users
Association, which in January hosted a presentation about an
alternative fish passage technology the association believes
could “make it possible” for the dams to remain.
But the Klamath
River Renewal Corporation — the nonprofit organization
responsible for decommissioning the dams — stated that a
fish passage solution still fails to address other issues
that led to the dam removal decision.
vice president of sales with Whooshh Innovations, a company
based in Washington that invented the viral sensation
“Salmon Cannon,” traveled to Hornbrook Jan. 30 to make a
presentation about Whooshh’s selective fish passage system.
The company has deployed the system at the Chief Joseph and
Cle Elum dams in Washington and has reported success with
third day of the Cle Elum Dam pilot project, Dearden said,
Whooshh’s selective fish passage system was shown to be
“statistically equivalent” to the trap and haul method of
selective fish passage is a modular system that begins with
a passage portal that directs fish to a steep pass and then
into a false weir. The false weir assures the fish enter one
after another while using minimal water. The fish are then
sent through long transport tubes which are soft, flexible
recognition system takes 18 high definition images of every
fish from three different directions. The images are
analyzed to collect data on the fish, including count,
length, girth, species and fin clips to ensure autonomous
sorting. The fish are sorted to determine which will move
past the dam and which will be returned to where they
emphasized that the technology does not harm or kill any
fish. It takes just seconds or minutes for a fish to be
transported past a dam, versus the hours or days it takes
for the fish to complete the task on its own. And Whooshh’s
system costs just 10 to 30 percent of a traditional fish
passage option, he reported.
confirmed during his presentation that only SCWUA had
reached out to Whooshh regarding providing an alternative to
removal of the Klamath dams. Multiple attendees voiced
resentment toward the KRRC for not exploring whether
employing Whooshh technology could mean keeping the dams in
Community Liaison Dave Meurer said Monday it isn’t that
simple. California’s legislature and governor have entered
into the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement with
PacifiCorp — the company that owns the dams — to have the
dams removed and the Klamath River returned “to its natural
state,” Meurer said. The KHSA includes dam removal but does
not include alternatives, he said.
In total, 23
parties have entered into the dam removal agreement,
including the State of Oregon and numerous conservation,
fishing and tribal entities, Meurer noted.
He added, “Just
changing how fish get up the river, in an artificial way,
doesn’t address the really severe water quality problems
that are behind the dams.” He referred to the seasonal
blooms of “toxic blue-green algae” which result from the sun
heating the nutrient-rich water behind the dams.
The North Coast
Regional Water Quality Control Board has posted public
health advisory notices about the algae, stating that “some
are capable of releasing toxins that are potentially harmful
to human health.”
legislature has appropriated up to $250 million to carry out
dam removal, which it believes will lead to a free-flowing
Klamath River and improved water quality. The states of
California and Oregon do not want artificial fish passage on
the river, regardless of what form it takes, Meurer said.
The KRRC exists
simply to implement the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement
Agreement. “We do not examine alternatives to the
agreement,” Meurer stated.
information about Whooshh Innovations and its technologies
is available at www.whooshh.com.
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