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Big Bar Landslide Update

Along with the progress that’s been made on the fish ladder at the Big Bar Landslide, work is also happening on what is called assisted fish transport measures.

Gwill Roberts, Director of Big Bar Land Response with Fisheries and Ocean Canada, said they are renovating a structure that was built last year to help the early arriving salmon that come up the Fraser to get over the barrier because there still is a barrier for those particular stocks.

“These salmon will move up a side channel and they’ll go up what we call a concrete block fish ladder,” Roberts said, “That fish allows us to hold the fish in a pool and then collect them and put them into trucks to move them about 5 kilometers north for release back into the Fraser.”

Starting June first, Roberts says they’ll be ready to move fish.

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“We have a capture program for transporting them around the barrier, we have a monitoring program to watch what the fish do as they migrate up the river from Mission all the way down up to the Big Bar area and beyond. We have an emergency enhancement program so we’ll also be capturing broodstocks to be used in a hatchery program, and we also have fish wheel operations to assist with tagging and with some of that transport.” Roberts said.

Roberts, Director of Big Bar Land Response with Fisheries and Ocean Canada, says June and July are the 2 months that they’ll be most active at the site for the assisted transport of salmon.

He said they’re hoping by August first that the summer stocks will be able to get past the slide using a nature-like fishway.

“It’s a rocky pathway that’s designed and built at a certain elevation with a certain slope that curves around the canyon, and we’re hoping that fish will be able to use the design of that because it has higher and lower points. It has resting spots where fish can rest behind boulders and rocks and then move up and rest and then move up and get their way around the canyon on their own.”

Steady progress is also being made on the summer work camp with the installation of dorms and fencing to keep wildlife and crews safe.

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