A slide in the Fraser River that could block the salmon run. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO- Department of Fisheries and Oceans)

Time of essence as Fraser River slide blocks spawning salmon, feds say

Slide was discovered at Big Bar, northwest of Kamloops, in June

Federal Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says officials are working against the clock as they look for ways to clear a path for salmon that are blocked from spawning areas by a landslide on the Fraser River.

Wilkinson says 90,000 salmon are gathering in waters below the slide area and up to two million sockeye are expected to start arriving in less than two weeks at Big Bar, northwest of Kamloops.

He says time is of the urgency as rock scalers, engineers and blasters try to find a solution after the natural disaster.

He says crews at the slide site are working to move boulders to create a safe route for the fish.

Helicopters are also netting salmon in buckets and moving them above the slide area, and a so-called fish ladder has been constructed to help salmon over the slide area but treacherous river conditions are preventing its installation.

The salmon use the river to head to spawning areas in rivers, streams and creeks throughout central and northern B.C.

READ MORE: Salmon moved to B.C. hatchery as Fraser River landslide work continues

Wilkinson says heavy rains in northern B.C. have caused the river to rise but hot weather forecast for this week could see water levels drop, giving crews a better chance to move rocks and test the ladder.

The slide was discovered in June and has created a five-metre waterfall in a narrow and remote portion of the river that the fish cannot get through.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

UPDATED: Heavy police presence in Victoria had part of Bay Street blocked off

Bay Street east of Quadra Street was blocked off on Saturday

Hundreds of foreign species still washing up on B.C. coast, eight years after tsunami

The Royal BC Museum is home to thousands of samples collected along the west coast of North America

Victoria first Canadian city to join United Nations tree planting challenge

The City of Victoria pledges to plant 5,000 trees by the end of 2020

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

B.C. truck drivers to face higher fines for not using winter tire chains

As of Oct. 1, not using chains on the highway when required could net you a $598 ticket

Most Read