BC Liberal MLAs monitoring situation at Big Bar slide site

LILLOOET (July 26, 2019) – Members of the BC Liberals’ steelhead caucus support the actions being taken to save the salmon trapped on the Fraser River at remote Big Bar following a large rockslide.

“This situation in my riding has proved to be very complex and challenging. There are so many people working to help these fish navigate the five-metre barrier that’s been created by this slide,” says Jackie Tegart, MLA for Fraser-Nicola and co-chair of the steelhead caucus. “We applaud the hard work of the federal government which is handling the bulk of this responsibility, with input and assistance from provincial officials and local First Nations.”

The MLAs are also pleased with the level of communication they have received on this significant issue, which is primarily impacting sockeye and chinook salmon but also some steelhead as well.

“We’ve asked for briefings and received them, and look forward to additional updates as this ambitious effort to save the trapped salmon unfolds,” says steelhead caucus co-chair Ralph Sultan, MLA for West Vancouver-Capilano. “There is a tremendous level of expertise on the team working to resolve this situation, and everyone is optimistic for a positive outcome.”

Acoustic monitoring indicates some fish are getting through, but a short-term solution to assist them includes transporting them into holding ponds, from which they can be moved above the partial blockage by helicopter to continue their journey. However, this will not be a long-term solution for the millions of fish expected to pass through the site during the peak of the fish run in August.

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