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Crews making progress clearing path for salmon at Big Bar landslide site

Last Updated Aug 6, 2019 at 11:26 am PDT

Image of the balsting site via Fisheries and Oceans Canada

95 people a day are working to improve the situation after a landslide along the Fraser River

The slide has sent rubble into the Fraser River, blocking salmon from spawning near Big Bar

Response required to this slide is "unprecedented"

LILLOOET, B.C. (NEWS 1130) — Crews have been working daily to help salmon navigate through a passage¬†along the Fraser River since a large landslide two months ago.

The landslide was discovered in June west of Clinton, but is believed to have happened last fall. This created a waterfall and barrier for salmon to access their spawning grounds.

In an email statement the Big Bar Landslide Information Team say progress is being made on the natural fish passage with 95 people a day working to improve the situation at a command centre and on site.

“The magnitude of this incident has required an unprecedented level of response and cooperation from everyone involved,” they say.

The teams is working in close partnership with the federal and provincial government and First Nations.

Since work has started, about 4,300 Sockeye and Chinook salmon have been transported upstream from the slide.

Blasting and moving rocks continues and a fish wheel should be in working order soon.

“The wheel will increase the efficiency of the capturing process, and will increase the number of fish transported upstream of the obstruction.”

Genetic testing has been completed and all salmon involved were successfully brought to Cultus Lake Lab.

Bio-sampling for stress testing continues allowing biologists to monitor salmon’s health before they are transported.

The team is asking for the public to stay out of the landslide area to ensure everyone’s safety and keep efforts on the slide going.

“When the public enters an area of operation, they put themselves, our crews and others at risk.”