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.
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.