Salmon Cannon to Aid Threatened Fraser River Salmon

It’s time for the Whooshh Salmon Cannon to shine.

After the Big Bar rockslide blocked a large portion of British Columbia’s Fraser River in 2018, Canadian officials have been hard at work constructing a fish passage around the slide’s rocky debris. The passage is to be a 2-stage process, with a fish ladder bringing the fish up to a holding pool where they will then get a free trip up and over the rock slide via the Whooshh Salmon Cannon.

The Salmon Cannon is a pneumatic tube that quickly “shoots” fish up over obstacles, be they dams, or natural impoundments like the Frase River’s rockslide. The passage takes less time for fish to move through than a fish ladder.

The 2-phase system is in place to help the salmon move upriver as officials from the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans work to clear the slide’s debris and free the river back to its original flows.

The salmon cannon and fish ladder are only a temporary solution, as project leader Gwil Roberts aims to have natural fish passage through the section impeded by the slide by the next salmon migration.

“The intention is to have different systems that can work at different flow volumes,”  Roberts said.

To read more about the work being done to protect the salmon species of the Fraser after the Big Bar slide, check out this article from CBC!

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