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

Casey Affleck’s movie Light of My Life features Southern Interior of B.C.

Film features Academy Award and Emmy Award winners

Forest fires spotted near Greenwood and Christina Lake

Aircraft and ground crews attacked both fires on Thursday

Residents petition for pre-flood value buyout, say Grand Forks case could set B.C. precedent

A petition will be presented to the B.C. Minister of Public Safety next week

Sisters trot across Canada for guide dogs

The Keca sisters passed through the Boundary earlier this week

Cannabis category added to Grand Forks Fall Fair

Mayor to be among judges evaluating look, smell and ‘burnability’

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

Most Read