January 30, 2016 10:29 pm
Updated: August 4, 2016 10:15 pm

Seymour River may need to be blasted to restore salmon run

WATCH: The go-ahead has been given to blast away a rockslide that blocked part of the Seymour River in North Vancouver more than a year ago. The slide is making it impossible for salmon to return to their spawning grounds. But as Jill Bennett explains, it's far from a done deal.


A year after fifty thousand cubic metres of rock crashed into the Seymour River, the watershed is still partially blocked by boulders and debris at the site of the rockslide.

READ MORE: North Shore rock slide turns part of Seymour River into lake

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Volunteers with Seymour Salmonid Society have spent the last year working to try and save the Seymour coho and steelhead runs.

“The society had a gut feel that the rock slide was impassable by fish – juveniles outgoing and mature fish coming into the spawn. We have scientifically proven that,” says Shaun Hollingsworth, president of the society.

Hollingsworth says that over 2500 volunteer hours have been spent saving the fish, by netting them at the bottom of the river and transporting them past the rocks.

It’s a time-intensive process, and one that he says is not sustainable.

“We have to come up with a better process,” he argues.

A plan to blast away the rockslide, using a product known as NXbursT, has been given environmental approval – but it’s still unclear who will pay for it.

“The estimate from Northwest Hydralics is two to five years, and we’re looking at a quarter million a year,” says Hollingsworth.

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