(PIXNIO)

B.C. river unsafe for crews after slide but blocked fish could be moved: DFO

Fish were blocked after the slide happened around June 21 or 22 in a remote area near Big Bar

Salmon blocked from migrating upstream to spawning grounds could be trapped and trucked above an obstruction following a rock slide in British Columbia’s Fraser River, a spokeswoman for Fisheries and Oceans Canada said Wednesday.

Bonnie Antcliffe said data from an acoustic monitoring device installed upstream from the rocks suggest about 700 fish, mostly chinook and some sockeye, have passed through.

Fish were blocked after the slide happened around June 21 or 22 in a remote area near Big Bar, northwest of Kamloops.

A second acoustic device is expected to be installed on Thursday while other options are being explored to save the fish, Antcliffe told a conference call.

“What we don’t know is how many fish we would expect to migrate through at this time of year,” she said. “The water is very turbid and you cannot see the fish in the water, and until further acoustic monitoring devices are on the downstream side, it will be difficult to tell.”

Technical staff and engineers are monitoring the area by helicopter because it’s unsafe for crews to do any work in the remote area, Antcliffe said.

An incident command post has been set up in Lillooet, with representatives from First Nations and the federal and provincial governments.

Jennifer Davis, provincial director of fish and aquatic habitat for B.C.’s Forests Ministry, said the safety of crews is the main consideration, followed by addressing the passage of fish and finding a solution to move them, if necessary.

“This is a very dangerous site,” she said. “It’s prone to rocks falling anyway and it’s got fast-moving water to begin with, which has been amplified through this side event, so there is a very high human safety concern that’s number one.”

The slide narrowed an already tight spot and created more debris in the river, along with a five-metre waterfall, Davis said.

Jennifer Naner, director of salmon management for the Fisheries Department, said while chinook numbers have been better than in the last two years they are lower than historic figures.

“We still have conservation concerns for this stock, even before this slide.”

The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Chilliwack junior roller derby team celebrates long-awaited win over Seattle

NWO Junior Roller Derby hosted two games on the weekend against the Seattle Derby Brats

Violin meets piano in The Red Violin at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre

Jasper Wood joins the Bergmann Duo for an intimate morning concert in Chilliwack

Bold and brazen singer Begonia brings colourful show to Tractorgrease in Chilliwack

The musician from Winnipeg is equally comfortable singing lullabies, headbangers and ballads

PHOTOS: Home, Leisure and Outdoor Living Expo runs all weekend in Chilliwack

There are more than 250 vendors set up for the annual home show at Chilliwack Heritage Park

Second earthquake in two days strikes near Agassiz

A 2.6-magnitude recorded Saturday morning

VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Henderson at the Chilliwack SPCA

Henderson, also known as Biggy, has FIV, a virus similar to HIV in humans

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

Surrey tells Uber to cease operations in city, but company ‘respectfully’ declines

Ridesharing company told to stop operating within the city by 9 p.m. Jan. 24

Coronavirus concerns cause cancellation of Langley Lunar New Year celebration

Close to 1,000 were expected to attend the annual Live In Langley event on Saturday

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Most Read