A chinook salmon at the fish ladder in Whitehorse on Aug. 12, 2019. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Feds consider building road to transport fish around Big Bar slide

Crews are moving rocks and boulders to create passageways in the Fraser River

Officials working at a landslide at Big Bar, B.C., say they don’t know how long efforts to rescue spawning salmon will take on the Fraser River.

Al Magnan, who is incident commander with the federal government, says the main goal is to create a fish passage and crews are still working on it.

The slide in late June at Big Bar, northwest of Kamlooops, created a five-metre waterfall and is blocking the majority of hundreds of thousands of chinook salmon from migrating upstream to spawn.

Corino Salomi, the environmental unit lead for the federal government, says crews are moving rocks and boulders to create passageways for the fish.

He says they are using portable hydraulic rams and airbags, chippers, drills and small, low velocity explosives to further break the rocks and create the passageways.

Salomi says the team is also considering building a road around the slide so fish can be transported in trucks.

So far, the fish have primarily been transported by helicopters with more than 14,000 fish moved.

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

Officials have a tight timeline to implement solutions to the problem as more fish are expected to arrive this month, including a million or more sockeye salmon.

Several salmon species migrate along the Fraser River, including chinook, sockeye, coho and pink.

“Saving the salmon is of foremost importance because this incident has the potential to directly or indirectly impact everyone in B.C. including the ecosystem and other species dependent on the salmon survival,” said Greg Witzky of the Fraser River Aboriginal Fisheries Secretariat and the incident commander for First Nations’ governments.

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

Penticton Vees recognized on and off ice success

The awards were given out following their Saturday night win.

Dale family was prominent in Summerland’s past

Ruth Dale taught for many years

Penticton Vees comeback for overtime win to end regular season

The Vees were down 3-0 to start the third before putting together an epic comeback.

PHOTOS: Celebrating diversity in Penticton

Seventh annual OneWorld Festival celebrates the worlds of different cultures in the South Okanagan.

Fiery collision involving truck closes Highway 1 at Three Valley Gap

Drivers should expect major delays and congestion; estimated time of re-opening is 2 p.m.

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

Kelowna Firefighters douse suspicious hedge fire

A 30’ section of cedar hedge burned prompting an RCMP investigation.

Kelowna RCMP make arrest in fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Elijah Beauregard

An 18-year-old woman is in police custody facing a manslughter charge.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

BC Senior Curling titles to be decided in Vernon

Wes Craig, Penny Shantz looking for fifth championships; Steve Wright, Donna Mychaluk into finals

Most Read