Fish ladder using nearly 500 concrete blocks under construction April 9, 2020, leading to pond and pumping station to lift salmon over the obstacle created by the June 2019 Big Bar landslide in the Fraser Canyon. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

Fish ladder using nearly 500 concrete blocks under construction April 9, 2020, leading to pond and pumping station to lift salmon over the obstacle created by the June 2019 Big Bar landslide in the Fraser Canyon. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

VIDEO: Last blast in battle to clear B.C.’s Big Bar landslide

Salmon ladder, pump system underway in Fraser Canyon

Work crews for Fisheries and Oceans Canada completed blasting of the rockslide at Big Bar in B.C.’s Fraser Canyon over the Easter weekend, and are moving to the next phase of keeping salmon runs going this year.

The last blast in the “east toe” of the rockslide widened the channel and the ongoing cleanup is being undertaken by Peter Kiewit Sons ULC, which got the contract at the end of last year to tackle the June 2019 rockslide . Current work on the canyon section of the Fraser River north of Lillooet has to happen during the off-season for salmon runs.

Construction is underway on a concrete fish ladder that will use almost 500 large concrete blocks to guide fish to a holding pool, where they will enter a pumping system to carry them to an area of the river where they can make their way to spawning streams in the B.C. Interior.

RELATED: Big Bar work a race against time in the Fraser River

The fish diversion and pumping system was endorsed April 2 by the First Nations Leadership Panel, representing Indigenous communities affected by the restriction of salmon runs up the river. Since the landslide, a fish wheel and beach seine nets have been used to capture fish and move them past the obstacle.


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