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BTC students work with famous 'Salmon Cannon' that could help local salmon runs

The Bellingham Herald logoThe Bellingham Herald 11/30/2019 By Warren Sterling, The Bellingham Herald (Bellingham, Wash.)

Bellingham Technical College students used Whooshh Innovations’ famous “Salmon Cannon” to aid salmon migration to the Whatcom Creek Hatchery at Maritime Heritage Park.

The Seattle-based company’s fish transport system has achieved stardom over the last five years, even making an appearance on HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. The system can be used to help migrating salmon — and other fish — pass by human-made obstacles, such as dams.

In its second year, the collaboration between Whooshh Innovations and BTC is an example of how the college is helping students “work really closely with industry,” said Brittany Palm-Flawd, hatchery manager and BTC faculty member. It also gave students an opportunity to work with emerging technology in their industry.

With this particular system fish are hand placed into the transport tube. The tube then uses air pressure and mist to help fish glide through the flexible tube nearly frictionlessly, according to Michael Messina, a director at Whooshh Innovations.

Students in the college’s Fisheries and Aquaculture program, as well as the public, were invited to use Whooshh’s transport technology to bypass the traditional fish ladder at the Whatcom Creek Hatchery Tuesday, Nov. 26.

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©2019 The Bellingham Herald (Bellingham, Wash.)

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