Seining fish near the Big Bar landslide site in order to place them in the holding pond before transport. (Courtesy of Incident Command Post) Seining fish near the Big Bar landslide site in order to place them in a holding pond before transport. (Courtesy of Incident Command Post)

VIDEO: Trapped fish at landslide site on the Fraser get visit from B.C. premier

Transportation of salmon by chopper in oxygenated tanks is slow-going work

The Big Bar landslide site was visited by Premier John Horgan Wednesday where experts are still working against the clock to get trapped salmon past the obstruction on the Fraser River.

“The rock scalers, scientists, First Nations and many others working tirelessly to help Fraser salmon over the Big Bar slide are doing an extraordinary job,” Premier Horgan said.

“But it will be at least a week before they’ll know if they’ve been successful.”

The scale of the collaborative efforts by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Province of B.C., First Nations and fish biologists and other experts is “unprecedented,” Horgan said.

About 80 personnel are assigned to the vexing incident on any given day. The landslide dropped a massive chunk of rock into the river last fall which is now blocking fish passage, and the slide was only discovered by officials in June.

Since then officials have been striving to stabilize the site, restore an open passage for migrating fish, and ensure they can get upstream to their spawning grounds.

Some methods to free the fish have been tested and rejected for technical reasons. Others are still under consideration.

A fish wheel from Rivers Inlet, using baskets and the power of the moving water, will be installed shortly to test its fish-lifting ability.

The use of helicopters carrying oxygenated fish-holding tanks is being tested to transfer a small number of fish above the slide.

“This system may assist with transporting small numbers of fish from early runs above the slide site, but is not a practical way of moving large numbers of fish,” according to the update from the Incident Command Post.

The idea of trucking salmon past the slide area is also being evaluated, and they’re also looking at

carefully dropping large rocks into the river to recreate a natural fish ladder.

“Aluminum fish ladders are being constructed and will be on-site within the next two weeks, ready to be deployed in the river by a helicopter when river conditions are suitable, to assist with fish passage.”

Scaling crews are slogging away on the face of the landslide to prepare a safe work area for rock work below. Helicopters are assisting with sluicing, which sees choppers dropping water from buckets to remove loose rock.

On Tuesday, Canadian Coast Guard personnel and river specialists were downstream of the slide, to assess water flow and conditions.

“Water conditions were found to be extremely hazardous due to the erratic and fast moving current.”

Updates can be found here on the incident website

READ MORE: Multifaceted plan to free the fish

READ MORE: Experts called to help


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Event was virtual, recognition was real at Nanaimo Business Awards

Online event praised Nanaimo businesses and organizations for excellence in 21 award categories

Nananimo-Ladysmith school trustees receive assignments for year

School trustees appointed to Nanaimo-Ladysmith-area schools

Best of the City: This year’s winners

Nanaimo News Bulletin presents full results of our 2020 Best of the City readers’ survey

B.C. Greens hurrying to get candidates in place for provincial election

No candidates announced yet in Nanaimo, Nanaimo-North Cowichan or Parksville-Qualicum

Best of the City: This year’s winners

Nanaimo News Bulletin presents full results of our 2020 Best of the City readers’ survey

Beefs & Bouquets, Sept. 23

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

‘Won’t be gathering for Thanksgiving:’ Trudeau says COVID-19 2nd wave underway

In all, COVID-19 has killed about 9,250 people in Canada

Mounties impound car of impaired driver celebrating birthday in North Vancouver

RCMP say the person was driving with their headlights off

Transgender B.C. brothers debut fantasy novel as author duo Vincent Hunter

‘Transgender people are being misrepresented in popular fiction and media, and we aim to change that’

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cops for Cancer: COVID-19 can’t stop Tour de Rock

‘having the chance to come back and ride this year means everything to me’

Most Read