The Whooshh Passage Portal scanner takes detailed measurements of each fish entering the system at the site of the Big Bar landslide on the Fraser River 100 kilometres north of Lillooet, B.C. (Photo submitted by DFO)

Salmon arrive in larger numbers at Big Bar landslide

Arrival follows historic high-water levels that halted migration runs

Fraser River salmon have begun arriving in larger numbers at the site of the Big Bar landslide.

As of Aug. 5 Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is reporting 2,176 salmon were detected at the Churn Creek sonar station 40 km upstream of the slide, saying it’s a positive indicator of a successful migration past the barrier.

DFO issued an update of the massive project Aug. 7, which involves the Whooshh Passage Portal, or so-called salmon cannon, and a fleet of trucks to assist the fish as needed.

With work now complete on a higher capacity Whoosh system, consisting of six tubes able to move 15,000 fish 160 metres every 24 hours north of the slide, crews have been focused on improvements and system optimization.

“New filters were installed to reduce sediment in the water supply before it reaches the fine spray misters and other sensitive components,” the DFO update reads. “Crews also added mesh and netting to better guide fish movement within the concrete ladder and the steep pass ramp to reduce incidental harm.”

READ MORE: High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Other work includes constructing walkways and ramps, improving vehicle and equipment access, and upgrading rock fall protection measures.

The fish passage network is part of ongoing mitigation efforts since the landslide was discovered in late June of 2019, causing 75,000 cubic metres of rock to fall into the river roughly 100 kilometres north of Lillooet, blocking spawning salmon passage into B.C.’s Interior.

South of the site new fish are being counted in the low thousands every day.

The good news follows a month of record-setting water flows that halted the summer salmon runs and forced crews to move and reinstall some of their equipment. Water levels were in the high 10th percentile, a 100 to 120-year event, with some days exceeding volumes ever recorded on the Fraser, DFO said.

READ MORE: Williams Lake river valley flood recovery first phase could cost $2.6 million

Crews have now enhanced their tagging efforts before fish enter the Whooshh system with the goal of better understanding fish movement above the slide site. To date 283 chinook and 100 sockeye have been tagged.



quinn.bender@blackpress.ca

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

Just Posted

Mission Mayor Pam Alexis to run for the NDP

Will take on Liberal Simon Gibson in the Abbotsford-Mission riding

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

MEDICAL MOMENTS: Dr. Andrew Edelson has served Mission for more than 45 years

Why Mission? ‘Mostly because it’s such a wonderful community,’ he says

BC launches 22 new primary care networks, including one in Mission

Will be adding family physicians, a nurse practitioner and a social worker

Missing Chilliwack woman last seen on Wednesday

Friends and family concerned for Joy-Lynn Leon, 42, who was last seen Sept. 23 on Mary Street

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

VIDEO: COVID won’t dampen Lower Mainland woman’s Halloween spirit

Langley’s Tanya Reid posted video offering suggestions of how trick-or-treating might look for her

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Father hopes journey to aviation-safety program inspires hope

Former South Surrey resident Greg Sewell hasn’t given up on quest to mandate older-plane retrofits

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Most Read