Significant rock slide in the Fraser Canyon

Statement

June 27, 2019

Ottawa, Ontario - Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Government of British Columbia are very concerned about a significant rock slide that occurred near Big Bar, BC just north of Lillooet, BC. Between June 21st and 23rd, 2019 a large slab of rock calved off just upstream of a narrow portion of the Fraser River near Big Bar, creating a 5m waterfall. The sheer magnitude of the obstruction raises concerns about whether salmon migrating upstream can reach their spawning grounds.

Landslides are natural events that happen frequently along rivers. A number of overflights have already been conducted and drones deployed to allow us to survey the site.  We will continue to coordinate efforts and determine next steps alongside local First Nations, communities and stakeholders.  Ongoing efforts will be supported by engineers, habitat experts, and hydrologists as we seek to identify the extent of the blockage and stability of the slope. As this is a very remote area, we are working diligently to determine if, and how we can help these salmon pass through the river.  Next steps will take into account the complexities of rapid flow conditions, migrating stocks and accessibility to the site.  We are committed to doing everything possible to minimize the impact this may have on the different fish stocks and the 50+ First Nations upriver of this slide that rely on salmon for food fisheries.

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Contacts

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
613-990-7537
Media.xncr@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Media Relations
Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource
Operations and Rural Development
250 356-7506

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