Seining fish near the Big Bar landslide site in order to place them in the holding pond before transport. (Courtesy of Incident Command Post) Seining fish near the Big Bar landslide site in order to place them in a holding pond before transport. (Courtesy of Incident Command Post)

VIDEO: Trapped fish at landslide site on the Fraser get visit from B.C. premier

Transportation of salmon by chopper in oxygenated tanks is slow-going work

The Big Bar landslide site was visited by Premier John Horgan Wednesday where experts are still working against the clock to get trapped salmon past the obstruction on the Fraser River.

“The rock scalers, scientists, First Nations and many others working tirelessly to help Fraser salmon over the Big Bar slide are doing an extraordinary job,” Premier Horgan said.

“But it will be at least a week before they’ll know if they’ve been successful.”

The scale of the collaborative efforts by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Province of B.C., First Nations and fish biologists and other experts is “unprecedented,” Horgan said.

About 80 personnel are assigned to the vexing incident on any given day. The landslide dropped a massive chunk of rock into the river last fall which is now blocking fish passage, and the slide was only discovered by officials in June.

Since then officials have been striving to stabilize the site, restore an open passage for migrating fish, and ensure they can get upstream to their spawning grounds.

Some methods to free the fish have been tested and rejected for technical reasons. Others are still under consideration.

A fish wheel from Rivers Inlet, using baskets and the power of the moving water, will be installed shortly to test its fish-lifting ability.

The use of helicopters carrying oxygenated fish-holding tanks is being tested to transfer a small number of fish above the slide.

“This system may assist with transporting small numbers of fish from early runs above the slide site, but is not a practical way of moving large numbers of fish,” according to the update from the Incident Command Post.

The idea of trucking salmon past the slide area is also being evaluated, and they’re also looking at

carefully dropping large rocks into the river to recreate a natural fish ladder.

“Aluminum fish ladders are being constructed and will be on-site within the next two weeks, ready to be deployed in the river by a helicopter when river conditions are suitable, to assist with fish passage.”

Scaling crews are slogging away on the face of the landslide to prepare a safe work area for rock work below. Helicopters are assisting with sluicing, which sees choppers dropping water from buckets to remove loose rock.

On Tuesday, Canadian Coast Guard personnel and river specialists were downstream of the slide, to assess water flow and conditions.

“Water conditions were found to be extremely hazardous due to the erratic and fast moving current.”

Updates can be found here on the incident website

READ MORE: Multifaceted plan to free the fish

READ MORE: Experts called to help


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

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

Making memories: Quesnel Lake a second home for Gerich family

The family moved around B.C. for work but always returned to Quesnel Lake

Quesnel and District Daycare needs to find new home by winter

The daycare is a non-profit society and has asked city for help

This and that for seniors: play phone magic now for real

My smartphone … yes, I do have one, is way smarter than me

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

B.C. premier applauds call to decriminalize drug possession

Police shouldn’t struggle with health issues, Horgan says

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Indigenous leader Ed John pleads not guilty to historical sex charges

Ed John’s lawyer entered the plea by telephone on behalf of his client

Woman who talked to unconscious husband for 30 years gets solace from B.C. study

Ian Jordan suffered a head injury when he and another officer were on their way to a call in Victoria in September 1987

Most Read