British Columbia

Fisheries officials to help salmon move upstream in Fraser River

The federal fisheries minister says getting salmon moving upstream in the Fraser River near Big Bar is now the top priority of his department in the Pacific Region.

Large chunk of rock fell into river during slide in late June

A significant rockslide in British Columbia's Fraser River appears to be blocking salmon from migrating upstream to spawning grounds, raising concerns about impacts to species that are already in peril. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada via the Canadian Press)

The federal fisheries minister says getting salmon moving upstream in the Fraser River near Big Bar is now the top priority of his department in the Pacific Region.

Jonathan Wilkinson said efforts are being made by both federal and provincial governments so the fish can move upstream to spawning grounds after a large chunk of rock fell into the river during a slide on June 21st or 22nd.

He said salmon are important for both commercial and recreational fisheries and for First Nations who rely on it for food and ceremonial purposes.

The department says more experts have been added to a team assessing options such as collecting the fish and trucking them upstream or flying them there by helicopter.

Video taken from a helicopter shows the magnitude of the slide and chinook salmon jumping out of the water:

A rockslide into the Fraser River Canyon has caused an obstruction that may be blocking salmon from migrating upstream and reaching their spawning grounds. 0:22

An incident command post has been set up in Lillooet, with representatives from First Nations and the federal and provincial governments.

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