Nature

Will the Fish Tube or Salmon Cannon Come to Texas? Find Out!

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Posted in a viral tweet in early August 2019, the salmon cannon, or fish tube, as some refer to them, isn’t an item we’ll be seeing in the state of Texas in the near future. That’s because the item in question was designed specifically for salmonids (or species of fish in the salmon family, including smelts, pikes, and argentines.)

Associate professor and aquaculture specialist at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Todd Sink, works in the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences. He identified that, at present, there’s no need for such a system in the Lone Star State. “We don’t have any native salmonids in Texas nor any large fish species that as a whole species or population are dramatically impacted by manmade migratory obstructions,” Sink explained to Texas A&M Today. “There may be an argument for paddlefish or sturgeon, but this technology would have to become mega-sized for these species.”

Will the Fish Tube or Salmon Cannon Come to Texas? Find Out!

Photo: Pixabay

The viral tweet video footage captures Whooshh Innovations sharing the fish tube for Cheddar followers. It was created specifically for salmonids in order to assist them in overcoming man-made barriers in their migration path on the Pacific coast. It captured the attention of close to 200K in total reactions and discussions. It also spawned memes numbering in the thousands, however, experts have identified it’s actually serious business.

Will the Fish Tube or Salmon Cannon Come to Texas? Find Out!

Photo: Pixabay

Wildlife specialists at Washington State told Popular Mechanics that the fish tube has been helping these species for years in overcoming man-made obstacles that would ordinarily prohibit their migration. What happens to a fish that enters the tube? Sink said they would experience momentary disorientation and possibly some natural responses to acute stress, something which he says is natural. Despite the controversy that some discussions around a fish tube or salmon cannon have touched on, Sink confirmed it’s a necessary action for the preservation of the species. “Fishery scientists,” he told Texas A&M Today, “are always looking for ways to protect, conserve and restore native fish populations in the face of growing human populations, water needs and urbanization, and do it in a manner that causes the least amount of discomfort to the fish. For now the fish cannon may represent the best way to conserve this population of salmon even though it may cause temporary, minor discomfort to the fish.”