Authorities dealing with a massive landslide in British Columbia’s Fraser River say they’ve successfully helped thousands of salmon migrate north of the site, but millions of fish remain threatened by the obstruction.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the provincial government and local First Nations continue responding to the slide near Big Bar, north of Lillooet, after it was discovered in late June.
Fish counting data shows some chinook salmon have been able to swim past the slide using channels created with large rock manipulation and blasting, A press release issued Monday stated that. As of last Tuesday, an estimated 6,700 salmon passed through the slide on their own, according to a press release issued Monday.
The release stated the fish passage is a “significant and hopeful step forward,” with work still needing to be done before all fish can transit above the slide. Meanwhile, fish continue to be transported by helicopter, with more than 39,000 salmon moved. Authorities continue to work on the area, as it could the slide could impact the ecosystem and other species dependent on salmon.
“The inability of chinook, sockeye, coho and pink salmon to migrate above the landslide area this year, and in future years, could result in significant negative ecological, economic and cultural impacts to all British Columbians and people throughout the region,” the press release stated. “Salmon are critical to Indigenous communities for food, social and ceremonial needs, and the slide has the potential to impact most Indigenous communities in B.C.”
— THE CANADIAN PRESS