(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

Just Posted

Parksville swimmer Bennett has sights set on 2020 Para Olympics

Canadian coach impressed with rapid progress of world-record holder

Manna hands out gift cards to those in need in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Volunteers say it makes a big difference during the holidays

Business increasing in Qualicum Beach, though labour can be hard to find

Business Walk hosted by Chamber of Commerce surveyed 61 businesses

Orca Place residents take time to clean up garbage in Parksville

‘We have to change all these people’s perspectives and outlook on us’

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

B.C. VIEWS: Hunger does not end with the season

Despite innovations in food distribution, the need is still there in B.C. communities

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Most Read