Big Bar/Lillooet/Fraser River – In June a major rock slide created a serious rapid in the Fraser River, making the spawning trek for Fraser River Chinook, very danergous.
Coordinating with Provincial and Federal authorities, DFO and First Nations, the solution is trap, tag and airlift.
An off-channel holding pond is being constructed to assist in the process of transferring fish to a safe area upstream of the slide location. Once constructed, the fish will swim into the created channel, through a fish weir and into the holding pond dug into the sand bar.
A fish weir is a one-way gate-like structure that allows the fish to swim through in order to reach the pond, but prevents the fish from swimming back out. From the pond, fish will be transferred with nets into aluminum fish transfer tanks.
Two types of aluminum fish transfer tanks will be used having carrying capacities of 780 L to 2700 L in size. These tanks will then be attached via tether lines to helicopters to move the fish above the landslide location. This operation is intended to safely transfer the salmon beyond the partial blockage as quickly as possible.
The holding tank is equipped with an oxygen diffuser in order to reduce stress on the fish while in transport. This is one of many options that experts are implementing with the aim of helping the fish bypass the partial blockage.