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First Ever Volitional American Shad Passage Over a Dam
​Gliding Through the Whooshh Passage Portal at Pinopolis Dam
​On The Copper River In South Carolina

Berkeley County, South Carolina. -- Their arrival up East Coast rivers is one of the most anticipated events of the spring. Festivals are even held to celebrate their return.


We’re talking about the American Shad, an anadromous fish that spends most of its life in the Atlantic Ocean and returns to coastal rivers and tributaries each spring to spawn.

For the first time, the Whooshh Passage Portal™, an innovative fish passage technology, will be tailored for volitional entry and selective passage of American Shad over a dam, while sorting out other species.

In collaboration with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Santee Cooper,  and Alden Research Labs, Whooshh Innovations will bring modular, volitional, selective fish passage to South Carolina’s Pinopolis dam this spring.
Much like salmon, spawning adult shad play a vital ecological role, and are capable of migrating hundreds of miles upstream.  

But as power companies face impending relicensing requirements for dams across the country, it is becoming increasingly important for them to provide safe and effective fish passage solutions.

That’s where Whooshh comes in. As recognized experts in the field of fish passage, we provide innovative, cost-effective solutions, that help bring fish and hydro into harmony.


That’s where Whooshh comes in. As recognized fish passage experts,  we provide innovative, cost-effective solutions, that help bring fish and hydro into harmony.


The Whooshh Passage Portal™  will be anchored off-shore, downstream of Pinopolis Lock, with an ~600 ft Whooshh migrator tube suspended from the barge, up the dam embankment, and will end over the forebay waters. The Whooshh Passage Portal™ is a modular system with volitional entry, and autonomous scanning, sorting, and fish passage components.

For the installation this spring, the revolutionary FishL™ Recognition™ system, the fish imaging component, will be incorporated as part of the complete Whooshh Passage Portal™.


The Whooshh Passage Portal™ also contains the FishL™ GateKeeper component, enabling real-time, selective fish sorting.


Fish enter the complete Whooshh Passage Portal™ volitionally, swimming up the steeppass entry component and are subsequently imaged and sorted. Native species of a size aligned with the installed migrator tubes will undergo a gentle slide through the migrator tube to the forebay above the dam. Other species will simply slide down the bypass chute back to the river.

Selective sorting can ensure passage of native fish and at the same time prevent passage of invasive species.
In 2019, Whooshh Innovations collected thousands of images of shad on the Columbia River, and also demonstrated its complete Whooshh Passage Portal™ technology at the Chief Joseph Dam, also on the Columbia. 

The first ever Whooshh Passage Portal™, fish passage application for East Coast migrating American Shad will demonstrate volitional entry, scanning, sorting, and transport of shad as has been done for salmon of the Columbia River.