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Almost 3 Million Salmon Migrated Past The Big Bar Slide Area In 2022

Work at the Big Bar Landslide north of Lillooet is entering it’s fourth year.

The incident happened June twenty-third, 2019, when over 85,000 cubic metres of rock had sheared off a 125-metre-high cliff and fallen into the Fraser River.

Gwill Roberts, Director of the Big Bar Landslide Response for Fisheries and Ocean Canada said they have 3 different programs planned for this summer.

He said teams will be in the field working on a tagging operation happening out of Matsqui so when the early Stuart Sockeye arrive there, they’ll be tagged and their movement will be tracked all the way up through the Fraser looking for areas where they might have some problems.

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The Salmon Enhancement Program will be taking early Stuart Sockeye and Chinook for “brood stock” and Gwill said they’ll be monitoring the hydraulics in the river keeping a good eye out on the engineering side.

“We’ve installed what we call a fish way at the site and we want to make sure that stays intact and works well. We have a whole stack of equipment there to ensure that we get good data and good understanding of flows through that part of the canyon.”

When it came to fish migration last year (2022) Gwill said it went exceedingly well.

“We had over 2.9 million Salmon migrated past the Big Bar Slide site, a huge number of early Stuart Sockeye and Spring Chinook and the Summer Sockeye all passed easily up through the Big Bar area. We seen good returns in 2021 as well. There were about 1.9 million Salmon returned and passed through the slide area without issue.”

Gwill said the conditions looked good and they feel that the situation at the slide site is under control, the structures that were installed there are working well and have stayed in place, it’s looking positive

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