Using Compressed Air To Scare Away Fish – Air Bubblers

scare fish compressed air bubblers
(Last Updated On: August 3, 2020)

I’m spending some time on vacation in the Florida Keys….sorry about that to all readers from the frozen north. We’re from the north as well, and our at-home email contacts are telling us continuously about the miserable winter weather currently being experienced from mid-continent to the eastern seaboard.

Just so you know, I broke out in a real sweat walking over to the local internet hot-spot a short while ago so I could post this blog. Anyway, enough about how hot it is. 🙂

compressed air bubblers

Here’s information on the compressed air application.

The Key we’re on has many man-made canals, so the various sites almost all have access to the Gulf or Ocean, depending which side of the Keys they are on.

In an effort to reduce the ingress of fish to the canals, bubblers are placed across each opening. The noise of the compressed air surfacing from the submerged pipe, along with the visible bubble curtain is supposed to startle incoming fish and to drive them away.

In the main picture above you can see the line of bubbles surfacing. The sign floating in the middle of the canal opening asks boaters to raise their engines to try to prevent props or skegs from cutting the plastic pipe.

Unfortunately, many boaters disregard this request, and this makes a lot of work for local divers to go down and fix the cut pipe underwater.

In the small inset picture, you can see the plastic discharge pipe allowing the compressed air to flow down onto the sea bed. The blue device just behind it is the intake filter, and the intake pipe is in line with the discharge pipe, so it can’t be seen in the photo.

The compressor itself is housed in a concrete enclosure to the right in the inset photo. I couldn’t see into the enclosure to identify what type of compressor it was, but audible for quite some distance from that enclosure was the characteristic whine of continuous duty, demand type, rotary screw compressor.

As to the efficiency of the whole system, there are a few fish in the canals, but not too many, and there is the odd lobster. Please don’t capture the lobster is also a common sign around the canals.

Yesterday, a couple of manatees appeared in one of the canals, making an interesting, but not exciting few moments for the locals. For this northern boy, it sure was pretty interesting.

Hello, I am Bill, the Compressed-Air-Man. I have years of experience in industrial and residential compressed air applications, air compressors and general pneumatics. I created this site to help professionals, students, and DIYers understand and properly implement and maintain compress3ed air systems.


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