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Proof-of-concept test of a differential pressure system to transport Great Lakes fishes
1Scott Miehls, 2Daniel Zielinski, 3Peter Hrodey, 4Steve Dearden, and 1Nicholas Johnson
1U.S. Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center, Hammond Bay Biological Station, 11188 Ray Road, Millersburg, MI 49759
2Great Lakes Fishery Commission, 11188 Ray Road, Millersburg, MI 49759
3U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Marquette Biological Station, 3090 Wright Street, Marquette, MI 49855
4Whooshh Innovations, LLC, 2001 W Garfield St., Bldg 156, Seattle WA 98109
In many tributaries of the Laurentian Great Lakes, managers want to selectively pass desirable species upstream of dams and block invasive and other undesirable species, but doing so is only possible with trap and transport systems that are costly and labor intensive. An emergent fish transport technology, Whooshh Fish Transport System (WFTS), can autonomously pass Pacific salmonid spp. with minimal impact on fish health, using a pressure differential to create a motive force that acts upon the cross-sectional surface area of a fish inside closed, flexible tubes. This study examined whether the WFTS can selectively pass desirable Great Lakes fishes but not the invasive sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus), which has a low circumference to length ratio. We found that the WFTS can effectively transport walleye (Sander vitreus), white sucker (Catostomus commersonii), rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), and northern pike (Esox lucius), but would not transport invasive sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) as successful transport was dictated by circumference. Furthermore, images of these fishes were taken using the WFTS imaging/sorting tool and archived such that they could be used to develop image recognition / species identification algorithms to sort desirable from undesirable fishes using the WFTS. The WFTS could become a useful selective fish passage tool in the Great Lakes if devices to move non-jumping fishes into the WFTS and algorithms for identifying and sorting Great Lakes fishes within the WFTS are developed.