Plastic fish are coming to save salmon

Hydroelectric energy sources might be friendlier to the environment at large than coal or gas fired plants can be, but the huge dams needed for the generation of electricity from water sources can cause problems for fish forced to swim through their turbines. In a bid to find out the kind of struggles fish that live near hydroelectric power plants face, scientists have designed “sensor fish” — plastic tubes filled with technology that can measure the stresses and strains put on salmon swimming through dam machinery.

The new sensor fish, built by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and detailed in the American Institute of Physics’ Review of Scientific Instruments, have already been field-tested in two Washington state dams….

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