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

Just Posted

7th annual Invermere Music Fest

A snapshot of the festival

Elk River reclaims property as its own

Laws make it harder to protect private land than ever before says farmer, local government

Need cash to splash

Radium Sunrise Rotary Club wants to build a splash park in Radium Hot Springs

Water bottling facility proposed in Canal Flats

Source of the Columbia Beverages Inc. promises jobs and financial investment into community

Black Press Kootenay Career Fair underway in Cranbrook

Today, Thursday, August 22, around 40 employers will be waiting to meet potential new employees

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

NDP bring Green New Deal to the Kootenays

MPs Wayne Stetski and Peter Julian held climate change talks in Nelson, Cranbrook and Revelstoke

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

B.C. music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

B.C. family stranded in Croatia desperate to come home

Funds being raised to bring back mom and two children

B.C. man on trial for daughters’ murders says an intruder broke in

Andrew Berry takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

Most Read