Fraser River Salmon in Trouble – Big Bar Landslide

With the lowest return of Fraser River Sockeye salmon expected since records began in 1893, Fraser River salmon are in peril. Not only do they face a massive rock slide, but a slew of other challenges like climate change, habitat loss, pollution, and fish farms.

For months, crews have heroically captured salmon, flying them over the rock slide in helicopters and worked to create passage at Big Bar, a remote area just west of Clinton, BC .

However, much more is needed if these salmon are to survive. The Rivershed Society of BC (RSBC) is calling for an investment of $500 million to restore and rebuild salmon runs within the Fraser watershed.

Fin Donnelly, RSBCs chair and member of parliament for Port Moody-Coquitlam, visited the Big Bar Landslide in August 2019 with his colleague Gord Johns, NDP fisheries critic and MP for Courtenay-Alberni. Here are a few photos from their trip.

Since June 29, federal, provincial, and First Nations government officials have been working together to transport salmon upriver of the rock slide. Photo: Fin Donnelly

Three beach seine crews from Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and First Nations and two fish wheels operated daily to catch fish, and three medium lift helicopters transported them above the slide. Photo: Fin Donnelly

The view from the helicopter of French Bar canyon 2 km north of the Big Bar ferry where a massive rock slide prevented salmon from getting through. Photo: Fin Donnelly

MP Fin Donnelly meets with River Tek operators Dan Pereda and Jake Baerg. They are part of a Unified Command Incident Management Team that includes DFO, Forest Lands Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, and First Nations Emergency Services Society, with assistance from BC Wild Fire Service, Canadian Coast Guard, and the US Army Corp of Engineers. Photo: Fin Donnelly

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