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

Summerland Ornamental Gardens remain closed

Staff and volunteers continue to weed and maintain plants

From baseball stars to forest fires: Southeast Fire Centre water bomber has an interesting past

Tanker 489 is stationed in Castlegar this year, but in the 1960s it belonged to the L.A. Dodgers.

Morning Start: Naps could save your life

Your morning start for Wednesday, July 9, 2020

From Mountains to Prairies another example of Golden’s local music talent

The band is slotted to perform at next Wednesday’s edition of Summer Kicks

Kicking Horse Movies reopens in time to celebrates 70 years

After a lengthy layoff due to COVID-19 the theatre is open to the public once more

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Summerland Ornamental Gardens remain closed

Staff and volunteers continue to weed and maintain plants

Kelowna taxpayers could pay $90K for losses caused by cancelled Memorial Cup

$135,000 would be put aside for a potential bid for a future opportunity to host the tournament

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Motorcycle rider seriously injured in collision with vehicle on Highway 97 west of Pritchard

Chase RCMP report that motorcycle was attempting to pass when crash occurred

Predator mutilated cats in Kelowna: BC SPCA

The BC SPCA confirmed a mutilated cat was killed by a predator

LETTER: Former Summerland mayors speak out on solar project

Five former Summerland mayors sign name to short letter

Emergency crews conduct CPR on unresponsive person in Okanagan Lake

West Kelowna emergency crews are on scene at the shores of Jubilee Mobile Home Park

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Most Read