Yakamas testing suction tubes for salmon

ELAH, Wash. — As spring chinook make their way up the Yakima River this year, a select few are taking an unusual route: through new vacuum tube technology being tested at Roza Dam.
 
The Yakama Nation Fisheries is working with Bellevue-based Whooshh Innovations to study a system that uses a flexible sleeve and gentle suction to send live salmon 40 feet across the dam’s fish collection facility and into a tanker truck in just seconds.
 
Eventually, the technology could help fish pass over and around Northwest dams, but first it needs to be proven safe, said Dave Fast, senior research scientist for the Yakama Nation.
 
Test runs on a coho last spring showed no immediate problems, but the fish biologists want to study the long-term effects.
 
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