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British Columbia Fraser River slide site stops salmon rescue actions until rock stability assured

Work around a massive rock slide in British Columbia's Fraser River has been stopped until the stability of site can be confirmed. The site of the rock slide, centre, is seen in an undated handout photo along the Fraser River northwest of Kamloops, B.C.

HO/The Canadian Press

Work around a massive rock slide in British Columbia’s Fraser River has been stopped until the stability of site can be confirmed.

A joint update from the B.C. government and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans says rock scalers are making progress getting large sections of rock to release above the river at the site northwest of Kamloops.

The statement says scalers have removed about 20 dump-truck loads of material off the face using pry bars, rubberized air bags that can be placed in a crack and inflated and helicopters that drop water to sluice away the debris.

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The slide last month created a five-metre waterfall, holding back hundreds of thousands of salmon from migrating to spawning grounds past the obstruction.

A B.C. government news release says a number of salmon species that are of significant concern need to pass through, including the spring and summer chinook and three sockeye runs.

The governments have looked at a number of solutions to get the salmon past the slide, including trucking the fish and even shooting them through a system of pressurized tubes known as the “salmon cannon.”

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