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Behold, the fish cannon
August 13, 2014 5:21 PM   Subscribe

Behold, the fish cannon. Fish ladders are passé. If you want to move your salmon upriver, shoot them there!
posted by pjern (65 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
"Gotta get upstream gotta get upstream get upstream upstream upstream gotta get upstream ok where does this go I bet this goes upstream is this upstream I think this is upstrWAIT WHAT WHAT WHAT WAAAAAAAAAAA WHAT WHAT I'M UPSTREAM? I'M UPSTREAM! WOOOOOOO"
posted by mhoye at 5:27 PM on August 13 [21 favorites]


Yet another mechanization, taking jobs from the common man - like Lew Zealand.
posted by Muddler at 5:27 PM on August 13 [6 favorites]


It looks goofy, but I can see that as being less traumatic that being dumped into a tank and driven around, and less likely to get them beat up then having to climb a fish ladder.
posted by tavella at 5:28 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


The video and article have so many levels of awesome it's hard pick a few examples, but this here is a near perfect demonstration of how technology marches on:
Whooshh Innovations ("Whoosh" was already taken) first designed its tubes to transport fruit, but as Washington state debated what do about hydroelectric dams and the salmon whose migrations they blocked, the company saw its technology might have another purpose. If Whooshh tubes could send apples flying over long distances without damaging them, maybe, an employee thought, they could suck fish up and over the dams blocking the Columbia river.

"So we put a tilapia in the fruit tube," says Todd Deligan, Whooshh's vice president. "It went flying, and we were like, ‘Huh, check that out.'"
From the fish's point of view it's probably like the last 10 minutes of 2001: A Space Odyssey.
posted by Kevin Street at 5:35 PM on August 13 [39 favorites]


I wonder how they envision peak fish flow. I imagine just a constant stream of fish jettisoned into the air, one after another. I also imagine bears sitting on the banks, with absolutely no idea what to do with themselves.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 5:36 PM on August 13 [14 favorites]


Ha, C'est la D.C., I was just thinking that this will work brilliantly right up until the bears learn how to redirect the tubes.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:37 PM on August 13 [6 favorites]


Given that the brown bears at the Brooks River Falls basically seem to just sit there and wait for a fish to fly through the air into their mouth, I don't think they'd need to redirect them so much as fight over the landing zone.
posted by tavella at 5:39 PM on August 13 [2 favorites]


the u s navy will take it over, make it bigger, and become the terror of the seas with the shark cannon
posted by pyramid termite at 5:43 PM on August 13 [11 favorites]


Two bears by the side of the lake, one gesturing to the other and saying, see, it's not like a truck.
posted by mhoye at 5:48 PM on August 13 [4 favorites]


These are pretty awesome and I would think that if the landing zone is fairly consistent (it might not be due to wind or whatnot), they could but bear barriers around it somehow to give salmon a fighting chance. (Yeah, bears get to eat, too, but they should have to wait til the salmon recombobulate).

Can't they pump water through at the same time instead of just spraying the fish? I would thing being unable to breath for a 500 foot flight would be very uncomfortable.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:49 PM on August 13


I love the part comparing the old way of just, fuckin' running around with fish from one end of the building to the other.

"There has to be a better way!
posted by odinsdream at 5:50 PM on August 13 [17 favorites]


This will be scaled up to human-size and turned into a waterpark attraction by 2018. Count on it.
posted by JoeZydeco at 5:53 PM on August 13 [13 favorites]


the common man - like Lew Zealand

I THROW THE FISH AWAY...
posted by mcstayinskool at 5:58 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


...AND IT COME BACK...
posted by mcstayinskool at 5:58 PM on August 13


...TO ME!
posted by mcstayinskool at 5:58 PM on August 13 [2 favorites]


Next up: the Alaska Pipeline is no longer a barrier to seasonal migration thanks to the Caribou Catapult™
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:59 PM on August 13 [12 favorites]


Bears are not an issue on the Columbia River dams, but sea lions and fishermen are, and both can be just as territorial and aggressive.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:01 PM on August 13


"On the initial run we had it turned up a little too high to suit the salmon."

"Were they unhappy about it?"

"They went ballistic."
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:11 PM on August 13 [59 favorites]


There are a bunch of practical issues with this also, like transmitting disease from one sick fish to all the others, but really this is just the latest goofy attempt at a workaround rather than removing the dams (which is what we would do if the environment and salmon mattered at all).
posted by Dip Flash at 6:14 PM on August 13


There are a bunch of practical issues with this also, like transmitting disease from one sick fish to all the others...

I don't think you can catch salmonella through the air.
posted by hal9k at 6:40 PM on August 13 [10 favorites]


"They went ballistic."

NGGGGG my puncreas.
posted by blue t-shirt at 6:46 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


pyramid termite: "the u s navy will take it over, make it bigger, and become the terror of the seas with the shark cannon"

So, this is how a sharknado gets started....
posted by schmod at 6:54 PM on August 13


Now, to my ever increasing list of regrets, I need to add "Didn't choose 'Fish Canon' as the username he'd stick with back in the 90's."
posted by Cyrano at 6:58 PM on August 13 [3 favorites]


I wouldn't want to be the guy who ate the first apple that flew after the tilapia.
posted by salishsea at 7:13 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


So we put a tilapia in the fruit tube

Nudge, nudge, knowwhatImean?
posted by eriko at 7:20 PM on August 13 [14 favorites]


You realized if you put a shark into this, you have a Sharknado Cannon.

Fuck off Bear Cavalry.
posted by eriko at 7:22 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


Of course, the real problem with this is the bear is going to be standing at the other end of the tube, mouth wide open, saying "HIT ME MAGIC FISH TUBE!"
posted by eriko at 7:23 PM on August 13 [3 favorites]


Considering a lot of fish are often transported and released via being sprayed from airplanes and helicopters (key quote: "they flutter down like leaves" versus "hitting with a thud") the fish cannon seems much more gentle.
posted by barchan at 7:26 PM on August 13


There is a god.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:36 PM on August 13


It's like Being John Malkovich for trout.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:59 PM on August 13 [6 favorites]


Spawning salmon rely on overwhelming numbers to survive. If five bears wait for fish, five fish will be caught. While they are eating, a large number will get through. Bears already eat non-stop at salmon streams, I don't think this would be much different.
posted by Foam Pants at 8:07 PM on August 13 [4 favorites]


This ... this is wonderful!
posted by rmd1023 at 8:11 PM on August 13


. Bears already eat non-stop at salmon streams, I don't think this would be much different.

Depend on just how fast the fish is moving, doesn't it?
posted by eriko at 8:16 PM on August 13


Here is the fruit tube. Worth it for the floating cucumber.
posted by creade at 8:24 PM on August 13 [3 favorites]


That looks super efishant.
posted by jimmythefish at 8:30 PM on August 13 [6 favorites]


Nice idea, but will it scale?
posted by blueberry at 8:38 PM on August 13 [13 favorites]


As god is my witness, I thought salmon could fly!
posted by Nerd of the North at 8:41 PM on August 13 [9 favorites]


Nice idea, but will it scale?

No, it doesn't scale, that's why the fish is alive at the end!
posted by eriko at 8:41 PM on August 13 [9 favorites]


eriko: "Depend on just how fast the fish is moving, doesn't it?"

For any particular fish sure. But bears already eat all the fish they possibly can in spawning season.

But if bear predation turned out to be a problem then you need to aim it at a pool deeper than a bear can stand in.
posted by Mitheral at 8:47 PM on August 13


I want to try this. Behold, the ashbury cannon!
bears waiting to eat me are not allowed
posted by ashbury at 9:04 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


Yet another mechanization, taking jobs from the common man - like Lew Zealand yt .

Given that Salmon return season after season - this is a more apropos Lew Zealand clip.
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:12 PM on August 13 [2 favorites]


Well, I'll be a monkeys caudal peduncle!
posted by blueberry at 9:16 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


Scene: A bear, with a black eye and covered in bruises, shambles away from the river and back into the forest. "That settles it," he says, "I'm sticking to berries."
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:19 PM on August 13 [6 favorites]


Scene: A bear, with a black eye and covered in bruises,

AS GOD IS MY WITNESS, I THOUGHT SALMON CAN'T FLY!!!
posted by eriko at 9:55 PM on August 13


I'm so glad to be living in this future.

There's only four things we do better than anyone else:
music
movies
microcode (software)
high-speed sushi delivery

posted by sebastienbailard at 10:01 PM on August 13 [2 favorites]


I find this very unnerving. Fun, but unnerving.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:31 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


If five bears wait for fish, five fish will be caught.

Not on my watch.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:31 PM on August 13 [26 favorites]


...they could put bear barriers around it...

Or maybe bear cannon to propel the bears a safe distance away?
posted by Segundus at 10:45 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


I'm waiting for the tuna railgun. Mach 9 albacore.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:46 PM on August 13 [4 favorites]


The thing is that there are A LOT of salmon and bears have a finite amount of interior space in which to store them. Even if they literally ate from the end of the fire hose, a lot of fish are going to make it.

The bigger threat to fish is canned salmon, not cannoned salmon.
posted by salishsea at 11:47 PM on August 13 [6 favorites]


In case anyone from The Verge is reading, this story crashed hell out of my ipod browser several times over. Most annoying.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:56 PM on August 13


This is as good an excuse as we're ever gonna get, let's tranquilize some bears and dress them in baseball uniforms.
posted by mannequito at 11:59 PM on August 13


rather than removing the dams (which is what we would do if the environment and salmon mattered at all).

And your proposal to replace the hydroelectricity is...? And your proposal to replace city water supplies?
posted by five fresh fish at 12:09 AM on August 14


"Salmon Slinger" would be a good name for a band.
posted by spock at 4:58 AM on August 14


My admittedly silly thought about the bears was less that they would eat more from the cannon than they do now but that they might redirect the cannon to dry land, thus killing all the fish regardless of how many they eat. But I'm sure however the thing is engineered in real life, they'll manage to make the shooty end of it relatively stable.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:48 AM on August 14


Need to install one at Pike Place Market.
posted by miyabo at 6:39 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


So... when do we get a human version? (seriously, I would ride that) (Futurama gifs need not apply)
posted by Popular Ethics at 7:32 AM on August 14


Cat from Red Dwarf would be all over this.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:53 AM on August 14


[vector]Squidlauncher! OHYEAH![/vector]
posted by hearthpig at 7:58 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


Here yt is the fruit tube. Worth it for the floating cucumber.

God, put an NSFW warning on that thing.
posted by pineappleheart at 7:59 AM on August 14


This is like shooting fish into a barrel!
posted by Kabanos at 10:39 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


Looks much more humane than the ChickXPress (warning: baby chick launcher.)
posted by Kabanos at 10:42 AM on August 14


This will be scaled up to human-size and turned into a waterpark attraction by 2018. Count on it.

And it will look like this.
posted by Kabanos at 12:44 PM on August 14 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile the Katmai bearcam is still offline and I am going into salmonfeast withdrawal.
posted by elizardbits at 1:25 PM on August 14


the u s navy will take it over, make it bigger, and become the terror of the seas with the shark cannon"

So, this is how a sharknado gets started....


Oh why didn't they listen to the attractive young scientist with the can-do attitude and something to prove to the world??
posted by JHarris at 3:40 PM on August 14


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