Capital press. (Salem, OR) 19??-current, November 01, 2019, Page 12, Image 12

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Friday, November 1, 2019
Salmon: System could increase salmon numbers
Continued from Page 1
nile salmon headed downriver
to the ocean, the consensus in
the group was to help salmon
returning upriver to spawn.
“Fish ladders had not
entirely solved the problem as
evidenced by declining returns,
so mathematically you could
have a much greater impact
on returning one adult pair
upstream than aiding two juve-
nile downstream,” Bryan said.
For a variety of reasons,
a huge percentage of adult
salmon die before reach-
ing spawning beds in the far
reaches of tributaries. And
juvenile salmon that do hatch
from their eggs are often food
for invasive fish species.
On top of that, sea lions
consume large numbers of
salmon heading from the ocean
up the Columbia River at Bon-
neville Dam. Also, on hot sum-
mer and early fall days, fish
ladder water gets too warm,
causing salmon to turn away,
seeking cooler water.
By using his system to
divert invasive fish and get-
ting more salmon to spawn-
ing grounds, their numbers will
increase, Bryan said. It can be
done more efficiently and at
a lower cost than fish ladders
and saves the 5% to 10% of
the riverflow from going down
fish ladders. That water can
instead be used for more power
Developing Whooshh
In 2013, Bryan changed the
name of his Seattle company
from Picker Technologies to
Whooshh Innovations Inc. and
for the next two years worked
on developing fish-friendly
transport tubes and the accom-
panying systems that move fish
over dams quickly and effi-
ciently. The system could also
be used to move fish in com-
mercial aquaculture and in pro-
cessing plants.
The name, Whooshh, was
chosen to replicate the sound
of fish going through tubes
and, eying international sales,
everyone could relate to it. The
company also trademarked the
name “salmon cannon.”
There were design, engi-
neering, prototypes, testing
and regulations. There were
new studies every time a com-
ponent was added or changed.
Some 20 studies were done by
Dan Wheat/Capital Press
Fish ladders such as this one at Rocky Reach Dam, north of Wentachee, Wash., have
been installed at some dams. The Whooshh system is less expensive and easier on the
fish, its inventor says.
Whooshh Innovations:
independent laboratories.
“It’s not an approval pro-
cess but more akin to ‘we
won’t object,’” Bryan said of
working with governmental
“We proved it’s as good
or better than alternatives. We
asked skeptics to step back
from the river through their
backyard and look at the bigger
picture,” he said.
Part of his pitch was that
wind and solar generation won’t
be able to meet the demand
if the public wants a non-car-
bon-powered electrical grid.
That means hydropower —
dams — must remain part of the
picture, and for that to happen
fish passage must be improved.
Gilbert Sylvia, professor
of marine resource econom-
ics at Oregon State University
and director of its Coastal Ore-
gon Marine Experiment Station
in Newport, said the Whooshh
system is “very intriguing and
creative technology.”
“I once saw it in operation
and was impressed. Especially
moving large animals over long
distances with minimal han-
dling and mortality,” he said.
Sylvia said he has not
done an economic analy-
sis or reviewed any economic
or financial analyses by oth-
ers, but that the real question is
whether state and federal agen-
cies believe the costs, includ-
ing morbidity and mortality,
are lower than other methods,
including trucking and fish
Bryan said multiple inde-
pendent studies show that to
be the case and are available on
his website. He said he works
closely with NOAA Fisher-
ies, the main agency on salmon
migration and permitting, but
that it can’t approve a technol-
ogy, only a site.
Bureaucracy is slow to rec-
ognize and adapt to better ways
of doing things and won’t until
people demand that politicians
push for change, Bryan said.
While the U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers was helpful last
summer with a demonstration
of the system at Chief Joseph
Dam on the Columbia River,
it is spending $200 million to
update a trap-and-haul fish
passage systems at the Buck-
ley Diversion and Mud Moun-
tain dams in King County.
Whooshh could provide better
passage for $20 million, Bryan
“From our perspective
this is a question of bureau-
cracy and a lack of impetus
for people to do things differ-
ently even though there is over-
whelming evidence what they
Wine: Group calling for no
new wine-specific legislation
Continued from Page 1
Oregon already has some of the
highest wine labeling standards in
the country. If a bottle is labeled
as being of a certain variety from a
certain region — such as world-re-
nowned Willamette Valley Pinot
noir — then the grapes must be at
least 90% that variety, and 95%
from that region.
Last year, a California-based win-
ery was accused of deceptively label-
ing wines made from Oregon grapes
without following those higher stan-
dards, prompting the introduction of
SB 111.
Jason Atkinson, a former Ore-
gon state senator from Ashland,
helped organize an industry coali-
tion that fought to defeat SB 111 over
concerns that out-of-state customers
would no longer buy their grapes.
The same group went on to form
the backbone of the Oregon Wine
Atkinson said members of the
council feel the Oregon Winegrow-
ers Association does not support
them in policy.
“We created the Oregon Wine
Council really as a substantial coun-
terbalance, and as a way to bring the
industry together,” Atkinson said.
“We’re tired of playing defense.”
Johnston, the council’s co-chair,
said they will hold a retreat Nov. 21
in Eugene to begin discussing policy
and finalize a membership roster. In
the meantime, he said the group is
calling for no new wine-specific leg-
islation heading into the 2020 short
legislative session.
“We just don’t think the time is
right,” Johnston said. “We have to
find policy solutions that are good for
everyone, not just one region. We’re
all in this together.”
Jana McKamey, vice president
of government affairs for the Ore-
gon Winegrowers Association, said
members of the council have reached
out to them, and they are taking the
request into consideration.
“Similar to the (council), we are
committed to the industry being
based on collaboration,” McKamey
said. “I think we share that same goal
of trying to foster dialogue to see if
we can uncover what these differ-
ent challenges are and try to uncover
Sam Tannahill, co-founder of A
to Z Wineworks in Newberg and a
member of the wine council board,
said the success of his winery is
founded upon the success of growers
A to Z Wineworks is one of the
state’s largest wineries, sourcing
grapes from about 3,500 acres from
the Columbia River Gorge to the Cal-
ifornia border. For those vineyards to
stay in business, Tannahill said they
need to be able to sell grapes outside
Oregon, which is why SB 111 posed
such a threat.
“In basic terms, we don’t have the
infrastructure to crush all the grapes
we grow here in Oregon, and there’s
also not the demand,” Tannahill said,
adding that in 2017 between 20%
and 25% of the Oregon winegrape
crop was sold out of state.
The Oregon wine industry also
continues to expand. According
to the latest Vineyard and Winery
Report conducted by the Univer-
sity of Oregon Institute for Policy
Research and Engagement, overall
production jumped from 91,342 tons
of winegrapes in 2017 to 100,133
tons in 2018. Growers also planted
nearly 2,000 more acres of vine-
yards, up to 35,972.
About 56% of Oregon wine-
grapes still come from the northern
Willamette Valley, though the fastest
rate of new growth is in the Rogue
and Umpqua valleys of Southern
Tannahill said he sees the council
as a catalyst for potential change in
the rapidly growing industry.
“There is no one answer, and
there are no easy answers,” Tanna-
hill said. “What we want to do is to
find consensus and move forward on
a unified basis. If the divide in our
industry continues, other states and
other industries are going to take our
place on (store) shelves.”
have been doing is not good
enough,” Bryan said. “If sci-
entists and agencies paid atten-
tion to the science they would
not be hesitating. They can
look at the data on our website.
We can talk about this stuff for-
ever, or actually do it.”
Whooshh sales
Whooshh sold its first sys-
tem at the end of 2014 to the
Washington Department of
Fish and Wildlife to sepa-
rate wild and hatchery fish
on the Washougal River near
Whooshh has now deployed
20 systems, not all dam fish
passage systems, to sites in the
Northwest, Sweden and Nor-
way. It has signed an agree-
ment in Argentina and on Oct.
21 met with representatives of
Whooshh installed this spring
at Bonneville Dam showed
14% of salmon with major
injury, mostly from sea lions,
that will prevent them from
spawning, Bryan said.
Of the 20 systems, five pro-
vide seasonal fish passage at
dams. The longest is 1,700 feet
and 180 feet high at the Cle
Elum Dam in the Washington
On Aug. 22, about 200 peo-
ple attended a demonstration
at Chief Joseph Dam, the sec-
ond-largest dam on the Colum-
bia after the Grand Coulee
A limited number of salmon
went into a tube during the
demonstration, traveling 500
feet to the top of the dam, mak-
ing a U turn and traveling 500
feet back down.
Salmon migration ends at
the Chief Joseph and Grand
Coulee dams because Grand
Coulee, about 350 feet tall
from the downriver to upriver
side, is too tall for a fish ladder.
For years, the Colville
Confederated Tribes and oth-
ers who support native fish
runs in the Columbia have
desired some means of help-
ing salmon past those dams.
Bryan believes his system
is the answer and foresees it
being used on other dams on
the Columbia and other riv-
ers in Washington and British
Fish ladders can be long and
exhausting for fish. Whooshh
tubes can move salmon over
dams much faster and with less
stress and mortality to fish. The
tubes are modular and porta-
ble and typically cost 60% to
80% less than a fish ladder or
truck operation, Bryan said.
Over time, ladders also fill
with sediment, which has to be
Dam operators can pay for
the system in extra power gen-
erated from water no longer
diverted into fish ladders, he
How it works
Whooshh Innovation’s fish
tubes are made with a flexi-
ble, soft, translucent material.
Water mist is injected into the
tube to make it nearly friction-
less for the salmon.
Salmon are attracted by a
flow of water to an 18-inch-
wide entry point, narrow
enough that fish enter one at a
time swimming slightly uphill.
Then they slide downhill into
a dewatered trough where a
computerized, optical system
sorts hatchery salmon, identi-
fied by tags or clipped adipose
fins, from wild salmon and
from invasive species.
Hatchery salmon are
diverted to a hatchery, invasive
fish can rerouted for several
uses and wild salmon continue
into the tube and over the dam.
The system can handle up
to 40 fish per minute, which
is more than 57,000 fish in 24
hours. If the need is greater, a
second system can be added,
Bryan said.
A goal is to limit a fish’s
tube travel time to less than 1
minute. The top speed for the
1,700 feet at Cle Elum Dam
is 32 feet per second, or 22
mph, decelerating in the last
300 feet. The National Marine
Fisheries Service requires they
exit the tube at no more than 25
feet per second.
“We’ve done our work on
the technical side, now we’re
trying to help operators with
the financing side and then it’s
just scaling up the number of
systems we can produce in a
year,” Bryan said.
Family efforts
Bryan developed an inter-
est in marine biology during
his high school years in
Edmonds, Wash., and was
involved with his parents,
Vincent Bryan Jr. and Carol,
as they bought alfalfa fields
and sagebrush overlooking
the Columbia River south-
west of Quincy and devel-
oped orchards, vineyards and
a winery. His father, a neu-
rosurgeon, got the wine bug
from a colleague.
“So we flew to France and
took soil samples from the
best vineyards,” Bryan said.
“We asked a realtor to find
property with that kind of soil
and that’s how we ended up
here (southwest of Quincy).”
Their first winery was
Champs de Brionne, meaning
Bryan’s field. With it grew an
outdoor entertainment amphi-
theater that became the Gorge
Amphitheater. The family
sold it, along with Champs de
Brionne, to MCA Concerts in
The family then built the
Cave B resort and winery next
door. It later sold the resort
but still owns the winery,
vineyard and orchard. Bryan’s
wife, Janet, is chief financial
officer of the winery. His sis-
ter, Carrie, does winery mar-
keting and Carrie’s husband,
Freddy Arredondo, is the
Bryan, now 54, became
an attorney specializing in
contract law, worked for the
Adobe software company
and helped the family sell the
amphitheater and with other
His sister, Janine Bryan, is
a scientist who developed the
vaccine Gardasil to prevent
human papillomavirus, the
second leading cause of cer-
vical cancer. She is Whooshh
vice president of biology.
Hemp: USDA issues new regulations
Continued from Page 1
farmers were only required to test
for delta-9, not THCA, said Sunny
Summers, cannabis policy coordi-
nator for the Oregon Department
of Agriculture.
The new USDA regulations
implement provisions of the 2018
Farm Bill, which effectively legal-
ized hemp nationwide. Before
that, state governments were able
to enact pilot programs for grow-
ing hemp under the 2014 Farm
State governments will have
one year from the effective date of
the new federal rules to clear their
plans for overseeing hemp with
the USDA. Until then, they will be
able to continue operating under
their pilot program rules.
Oregon’s shift to the stricter
THC testing protocol in 2020
raised concerns that hemp har-
vested this autumn would have to
be destroyed in January if it con-
tains enough THCA to push it
across the 0.3% limit for THC.
However, the Oregon Depart-
ment of Agriculture’s new proto-
col will not apply retroactively to
hemp grown in 2019, only to crops
produced after the change became
effective, said Courtney Moran,
an attorney and president of the
Oregon Industrial Hemp Farmers
“It doesn’t change to non-com-
pliant hemp,” she said. “If it’s har-
vested as hemp, it stays as hemp.”
Realistically, the stricter USDA
standards will likely force hemp
farmers to harvest the crop earlier
to avoid having it cross the thresh-
old into marijuana, which in turn
will reduce the levels of canna-
bidiol, or CBD, contained in the
plant, Moran said.
While CBD isn’t psychoactive
and is considered to have healthful
properties, such as treating inflam-
mation, concentrations of the sub-
stance tend to be associated with
higher levels of THC.
“There’s definitely a correla-
tion between the two,” she said.
Early harvesting will be an
George Plaven/Capital Press File
Hemp grows in Southern Oregon near Central Point.
immediate solution to the prob-
lem until hemp cultivars are devel-
oped with high levels of CBD that
remain low in THC, Moran said.
“Breeders have been working on
it and farmers have been looking
for it.”
Rick Bush, the hemp farmer
near Salem, said he’s disappointed
in the hype about hemp and it’s
profit-earning potential when
there’s insufficient capacity to pro-
cess Oregon’s 60,000-acre crop.
The stricter testing proto-
cols for THC will result in farm-
ers growing hemp to maturity that
turns out too “hot” to be salable,
he said. “They poured money on
the ground and expected it to mul-
tiply, but it’s not that simple.”
While Bush considers the
USDA’s testing standard arbitrary,
he acknowledges the transition to
federal regulation may cool the
eagerness to invest in hemp.
“At least we have one year to
figure out whether we’re going to
get in or get out,” he said.
Barry Cook, a hemp grower
near Boring, Ore., said he’s still
reading the USDA rules but is
concerned about how hemp will
be regulated after harvest.
Limiting the total THC level to
0.3% may be justified for “smoke-
able flower” that is sold directly to
consumers, he said.
However, hemp is often further
processed to extract CBD, which
in turn also elevates the THC lev-
els beyond 0.3%, Cook said.
This “crude oil” is further pro-
cessed to remove or dilute the
THC, bringing it back into com-
pliance with the 0.3 percent level,
he said.
However, the temporary step
involving elevated THC and
CBD is necessary as the hemp is
brought toward the “finish line”
of consumable product, which
should be understood by regula-
tors, Cook said.
“You can’t penalize the pro-
cess as we move toward compli-
ance,” he said. “Everything is get-
ting lumped together, and that’s
the problem.”
Under the Oregon Department
of Agriculture’s existing regula-
tions, the elevated level of THC
in hemp extracts is considered
allowable as long as it’s eventually
stripped out or sufficiently diluted,
said Summers, the agency’s can-
nabis policy coordinator.
“Right now, as long as it’s not
sold to an end consumer, it is
legal,” she said.
Under the interim federal rules,
extracts and derivatives of canna-
bis with more than 0.3% THC are
considered marijuana.
How the USDA will approach
the issue of hemp processing for
CBD is unknown at this point,
Summers said. “The USDA
doesn’t really address what hap-
pens when it leaves the farm. They
don’t cover processing.”