A slide in the Fraser River that could block the salmon run. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO- Department of Fisheries and Oceans)

Time of essence as Fraser River slide blocks spawning salmon, feds say

Slide was discovered at Big Bar, northwest of Kamloops, in June

Federal Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says officials are working against the clock as they look for ways to clear a path for salmon that are blocked from spawning areas by a landslide on the Fraser River.

Wilkinson says 90,000 salmon are gathering in waters below the slide area and up to two million sockeye are expected to start arriving in less than two weeks at Big Bar, northwest of Kamloops.

He says time is of the urgency as rock scalers, engineers and blasters try to find a solution after the natural disaster.

He says crews at the slide site are working to move boulders to create a safe route for the fish.

Helicopters are also netting salmon in buckets and moving them above the slide area, and a so-called fish ladder has been constructed to help salmon over the slide area but treacherous river conditions are preventing its installation.

The salmon use the river to head to spawning areas in rivers, streams and creeks throughout central and northern B.C.

READ MORE: Salmon moved to B.C. hatchery as Fraser River landslide work continues

Wilkinson says heavy rains in northern B.C. have caused the river to rise but hot weather forecast for this week could see water levels drop, giving crews a better chance to move rocks and test the ladder.

The slide was discovered in June and has created a five-metre waterfall in a narrow and remote portion of the river that the fish cannot get through.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A philanthropic twist on Fernie’s Australia Day festivities

Various local businesses hosted events and fundraisers for the Australian bushfires

The FSA Gumball Challenge back for round two

The snowmobile event will cover hundreds of acres of terrain

Fernie SAR responds to injured skier

Fernie Search and Rescue (SAR) was activated on January 27 after receiving… Continue reading

International Snow Science Workshop coming to Fernie

World leaders in the snow industry will be flocking to Fernie in… Continue reading

Teck donates land to Elkford Housing Society

The land donation ceremony took place on January 16

VIDEO: Feds look to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Uber threatens legal action to ‘defend its right’ to operate in Surrey

‘I have no concerns,’ Mayor Doug McCallum replies

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Bystander who tried to help dog being attacked not liable for its death: B.C. tribunal

Owner of dog killed tried to get $5,000 in damages from man who tried to save it

INFOGRAPHIC: See how fast your B.C. city grew in 2019

The province’s fastest-growing municipalities were located on Vancouver Island

Landowner hearings begin for Trans Mountain expansion in Alberta

Detailed route talks start in Spruce Grove, in B.C. communities soon

Alessia Cara to host and perform at 2020 Juno Awards

Multi-platinum Canadian singer-songwriter also up for six awards, including Artist of the Year

Most Read