A salmon is placed in a vessel to be lifted by a helicopter and transported up the Fraser River past a massive rock slide near Big Bar, west of Clinton, B.C., on Wednesday July 24, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Many salmon now passing Fraser River slide on their own, DFO says

Helicopters had lifted nearly 60,000 fish over the slide, which was discovered in June

Helicopter airlifts of migrating salmon have been temporarily halted at a rock slide in the Fraser River because officials say large numbers of fish are now getting past the obstruction on their own.

A statement from the team working at the Big Bar landslide says acoustic monitoring, radio tags and visual observations confirm chinook and sockeye salmon are swimming through the landslide unaided.

The statement says the fish are finally getting past the blockage because water levels have fallen and crews have successfully shifted some of the huge boulders that created a five-metre waterfall across the river earlier this year.

It had the potential to prevent millions of migrating Fraser River salmon from reaching spawning grounds north of the Clinton area.

RELATED: Significant progress made securing fish passage on the Fraser River at landslide site

Helicopters had been used to lift nearly 60,000 fish over the rockfall, but experts remain concerned about the ability of the returning run of 1.5 million pink salmon to get past the slide.

They say helicopter and truck-transfer operations will resume if the smaller, weaker species can’t follow its chinook and sockeye cousins upriver.

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

Small Chilliwack grocery business offering free home delivery during COVID-19 pandemic

Dickens Sweets taking over-the-phone orders, won’t be charging to deliver it right to your doorstep

Chilliwack mayor says he’s encouraged by the increase in social distancing awareness

‘Keep it up, Chilliwack,” the mayor said after emerging cautiously optimistic from the day’s briefing

Chilliwack bylaw officers get new powers to enforce COVID-19 health orders

The enforcement will focus on education and warnings, not issuing fines or detaining people

Significant snowfall forecast for Interior mountain passes

Allison Pass, the Okanagan Connector, Rogers Pass and Kootenay Pass could see 15 to 25 cm of snow

City of Chilliwack reminds citizens that ‘unflushables’ can clog the system and damage pipes

‘Hey, Chilliwack, don’t treat your toilet like a trash can,’ according to the city notice

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Blue ribbons popping up along streets in Abbotsford in praise of B.C. healthcare workers

Healthcare worker’s family starts local trend of morale support

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

Most Read