Some fish getting through Fraser River rockslide, but DFO looking at options to help the rest

Click to play video: 'Rockslide causing concern for the future of salmon stock'
Rockslide causing concern for the future of salmon stock
WATCH: Rockslide causing concern for the future of salmon stock – Jul 4, 2019

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) says it appears at least some salmon are getting past the obstruction created by a major rockslide in the Fraser River.

The slide, which happened just west of Clinton and near the Big Bar Ferry on June 25, dumped tonnes of rocks into the waterway, creating a patch of intense rapids and raising fears about the plight of migrating fish.

On Wednesday, officials with the DFO said early data suggests at least 700 fish have made it past the blockage since Friday night.

READ MORE: Fisheries and Oceans takes action to stem Fraser River chinook salmon decline

Read next: Battery pack erupts in flames on United flight to N.J., 4 people hospitalized

That information was collected with the help of an acoustic monitoring device upstream of the slide. DFO officials said a second device is being installed downstream which will allow staff to get a more accurate count on the number of fish passing through.

Story continues below advertisement

Officials added that the majority of fish making it past the obstruction appear to be Chinook salmon, with a small proportion of sockeye mixed in.

If a more accurate survey of the fish suggests not enough salmon are able to migrate upstream, the DFO said it would begin looking at ways to help them get past the obstruction.

WATCH: Rockslide in Fraser River raises salmon concerns

Click to play video: 'Rockslide in Fraser River raises salmon concerns'
Rockslide in Fraser River raises salmon concerns

Officials said options to help the fish could include trapping and physically moving them past the barrier, releasing more water from upstream to try and make it easier to swim past the rocks, or potentially installing some kind of fish ladder.

An incident command post to address the slide has been established in Lillooet, which includes staff from the provincial and federal governments, along with local First Nations.


Sponsored content