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

Just Posted

LETTER: How do you like these NDP apples MLA Rice?

Prince Rupert District Teachers’ responds to MLA Jennifer Rice’s letter regarding union rally

HAMILTON: Something was wrong — really wrong, but there is hope

Hamilton shares a defining moment in his life for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

WATCH: Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Prince Rupert’s students are baking it all the way to the bank

Charles Hays band students serve up goodies to fund summer trip

ELECTION 2019: Have Justin Trudeau’s Liberals really cut middle-class taxes?

Conservative Andrew Scheer vows to cut bottom bracket, NDP’s Jagmeet Singh targets wealth tax

British family deported after ‘accidental’ U.S. border crossing

U.S. officials deny it was mistake, release video of vehicle crossing into Washington from Langley

LETTERS: Wolf kills, wilderness protection and caribou recovery

Readers respond to Tom Fletcher’s column on B.C. program

Kamloops man hangs on to back of stolen truck as suspect speeds away, crashes

The pickup truck was seen leaving the roadway before bursting into flames

Everything you need to know before getting the flu shot

Island pharmacist shares concerns, recommendations before flu season hits

‘Sky didn’t fall:’ Police, lawyers still adjusting after pot legalization

Statistics Canada says 541 people were charged under the federal Cannabis Act between Oct. 17, 2018 and the end of the year

Fewer people prescribed opioids in B.C., but other provinces lack data: doctors

Patients who began taking opioids were prescribed smaller doses for shorter duration

Electric cello, stolen from vehicle in Williams Lake, returned to U.S. owner

Rita Rice of Texas said she and her husband had given up hope of ever seeing it again

Most Read