why is it important?
Supporting native fish populations is more critical now than ever. Native fish are an integral part of their habitats and eco-systems, playing an important role in nutrient cycles, and a crucial part of the food chain.
Millions of fish, including the likes of salmon, eel, lamprey, sturgeon, and steelhead trout (among many others), migrate thousands of miles to reach fresh water spawning ground and habitats each year. Now, faced with growing challenges such as climate change, habitat loss, and invasive species, this crucial migration is becoming increasingly difficult.
We believe that supporting renewable energy is an important part of the fight against climate change, and an essential component of caring for our earth. We know that hydropower is the largest producer of renewable energy in the world, and so we committed ourselves to finding a better way for hydropower and healthy native fish populations to coexist.
There is a urgent need for safe and effective fish passage without also enabling invasive fish species (which prey on native fry, compete for resources, and alter their habitat.) That is where we come in.
what do we do?
Since 2013, we have devoted ourselves to developing new innovative, lower cost technology and solutions that can perform where other forms of passage have fallen short.
When designing our fish passage systems we evaluated their success on the survival, passage and migration time, aberrant homing, disease transmission, and abnormal behavior of fish. Our systems are volitional, meaning the fish can swim in on their own, and the passage systems can move and sort fish regardless of geography, height of obstacle, or changing water levels.
We integrated scanning and sorting and invasive species removal features in order to enable selective fish passage and compile data and imagery. This way, we never stop learning about the local habitat and the fish who call it home.
what is our impact?
Whooshh systems improve water management practices, resulting in less waste, and more reserve capacity. This allows for more electricity to be generated during peak demand hours. We create more water for farming without impacting migratory fish runs, and offset power lost due to environmental river flow requirements
Our systems assist native fish to pass over dams in seconds, rather than days. This means fish experience less stress and more native fish reach cool water and their spawning grounds sooner. Energy reserves not depleted with the use of Whooshh passage systems enable native species faster travel times upstream, to cooler, safer, water and spawning habitats.
Our solutions are standardized, modular, and flexible, and can easily be optimized for site conditions. The initial installation can be installed and operational in days, instead of years.
We prioritize keeping our systems affordable and realistic, which is why our installation, maintenance, and operating costs are up to 80% less than other traditional fish passaging ways (we also offer long term financing options to make even more affordable, just ask!)
Whooshh works hard to support carbon-free energy for generations to come, which is why Whooshh systems have been praised by The U.S Department of Energy and The National Hydropower Association for their modular and economical fish passage innovations.
A 2014 Department of Energy funded study by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory assessed the efficacy of our Burst Buster and Whooshh™ Migrator versus "trap and haul" with adult Chinook Salmon, and found adult survival, and immune responses and egg survival were comparable to the control group trap and haul. Since then we have added autonomous real time scanning and sorting of live fish, which provides fishery managers with the tools to remove invasive species and re-direct hatchery fish without handling.