A salmon is placed in a vessel to be lifted by a helicopter and transported up the Fraser River past a massive rock slide near Big Bar, west of Clinton, B.C., on Wednesday July 24, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Many salmon now passing Fraser River slide on their own, DFO says

Helicopters had lifted nearly 60,000 fish over the slide, which was discovered in June

Helicopter airlifts of migrating salmon have been temporarily halted at a rock slide in the Fraser River because officials say large numbers of fish are now getting past the obstruction on their own.

A statement from the team working at the Big Bar landslide says acoustic monitoring, radio tags and visual observations confirm chinook and sockeye salmon are swimming through the landslide unaided.

The statement says the fish are finally getting past the blockage because water levels have fallen and crews have successfully shifted some of the huge boulders that created a five-metre waterfall across the river earlier this year.

It had the potential to prevent millions of migrating Fraser River salmon from reaching spawning grounds north of the Clinton area.

RELATED: Significant progress made securing fish passage on the Fraser River at landslide site

Helicopters had been used to lift nearly 60,000 fish over the rockfall, but experts remain concerned about the ability of the returning run of 1.5 million pink salmon to get past the slide.

They say helicopter and truck-transfer operations will resume if the smaller, weaker species can’t follow its chinook and sockeye cousins upriver.

The Canadian Press

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

Second earthquake in two days strikes near Agassiz

A 2.6-magnitude recorded Saturday morning

Province bringing 421 new affordable childcare spaces to Fraser Valley

Supporting early childhood educators and creating spaces go hand in hand, minister says

Rude awakening: 1.6-magnitude earthquake rouses residents from their sleep

The quake was detected 3 km east-northeast of Agassiz

COLUMN: Cities should enlist teenagers to clear sidewalks for absentee owners

Connecting shovelers with property owners could make cities more walkable after a snow storm

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

Surrey tells Uber to cease operations in city, but company ‘respectfully’ declines

Ridesharing company told to stop operating within the city by 9 p.m. Jan. 24

Most Read