Enthusiasm in BC Indigenous communities as salmon overtakes the Fraser slide zone Pipa News

Pipa News |

Vancouver – Thousands of migratory sockeye and Chinook salmon are making it through a vast slide area on the Fraser River on their way to egg-laying in central British Columbia.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada say 280,000 salmon have already been counted above the slide site north of Lilleut, a stark contrast from three years ago when barely 100 salmon were counted.

There is excitement within indigenous communities about the potential arrival and harvest of wild salmon, says Gord Sterrit, a director at the Upper Fraser Fisheries Conservation Alliance group.

In 2019, a rock slide of about 110,000 cubic meters fell into the river valley, creating a nearly impassable barrier to the migration of salmon.

Rescue efforts to retrieve trapped salmon beyond the slide include shooting them through a so-called salmon cannon, capturing them and using a truck or helicopter to transport them to the site, and to help move huge boulders into the river. Includes route making. Fish beyond the slide area.

Fisheries project spokesman Del Michi says this year’s salmon suffered delays along the Fraser River due to high waters in the spring, but fish that reached the slide site have been able to continue their migration.

The Department of Fisheries is predicting that 10 million sockeye will return to the Fraser River this summer, while commercial fishermen are also reporting large runs of sockeye this year on the Skena River in northwest BC and off Barclay Sound on Vancouver Island. Huh.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on August 12, 2022.

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