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Infographic: Big Bar landslide response - 2020 Timeline of key events

Release date: April 2021
Infographic: 2020 Big Bar landslide response timeline of key events
Description: Big Bar landslide response - 2020 Timeline of key events


  • High Bar First Nation (HBFN)
  • Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation (SXFN)
  • First Nations Leadership Panel (FNLP)
  • Upper Fraser Fisheries Conservation Alliance (UFFCA)
  • Province of British Columbia (Province)
  • Public Service and Procurements Canada (PSPC)
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)
  • Peter Kiewit Sons ULC (Kiewit)


January 2020

  • January 9: HBFN and SXFN met with PSPC, Kiewit and JESC to develop Indigenous Benefit Plan (IBP)
  • January 13/14: Second contingency planning technical team meeting held
  • January 14: Equipment mobilized to site; winter work commences
  • January 17: DFO Minister Jordan met with HBFN and SXFN leadership, and Kiewit during site visit
  • January 23: Tripartite After Action Review of Incident Command System and response held

February 2020

  • February 18: First East Toe riverbank blast successfully completed, 1,200 m3 blast material removed
  • February 21: Third contingency planning technical team meeting held
  • February 27: HBFN, SXFN, Province and DFO visited site
  • February 29: Site access completed

March 2020

  • March 4: National and regional PSPC staff, alongside regional and local DFO staff, met with HBFN and SXFN on site
  • March 9 -11: HBFN, SXFN and Upper Fraser Fisheries Conservation Alliance (UFFCA) review mitigation plans
  • March 16: COVID-19 response launched across the Province, landslide response continues as part of emergency operations
  • March 28: “Nature-like” fishway completed
  • March 29: River in-channel blasting completed


April 2020

  • April 11: Final East Toe riverbank blast completed, 1,800 m3 blast material removed
  • April 14: Whooshh™ Innovations Ltd awarded contract for pneumatic fish pump equipment by PSPC

May 2020

  • May 7: Concrete lock block fish ladder completed
  • May 19: First long-term planning technical meeting held
  • May 27: First day of DFO radio tagging operations


High water period: mid-June to early August

June 2020

  • June 3: French Bar Creek Holding Facility for salmon operational
  • June 3: Upper Fraser First Nations and DFO met to develop a process to identify and track priority Chinook stocks for emergency conservation enhancement
  • June 8: First fish radio tagged
  • Mid-June to early August: Sustained higher than average flow conditions delayed fish migration; Fish transport and enhancement operations interrupted due to flooding
  • June 16: Second long-term planning technical meeting held
  • June 20: First fish wheel operational downstream of Big Bar, led by Gitxsan Watershed Authorities in collaboration with St’at’imc Eco Resources and administered by the Fraser Salmon Management Council
  • June 21: First two Chinook arrived at concrete fish ladder and transported to French Bar Creek Holding Facility
  • June 21: Two-lane Whooshh Passage Portal™ operational
  • June 23: First Chinook transported to Vanderhoof adult Chinook holding facility

July 2020

  • July 2-3: Permanent fishway option endorsed by JESC and FNLP
  • July 14: Initial salmon observed migrating upstream when water levels dropped to 4,000 m3/s
  • July 18: Indigenous crews commence truck and transport operations
  • July 17: Six-lane Whooshh™ system operational
  • July 22: DFO monitoring team commences beach seining in Lillooet, BC
  • July 23: First two salmon arrive at Churn Creek Hydroacoustic site, confirming fish passage upstream
  • July 24: First fish transported through the Whooshh™ system
  • July 25: First sockeye observed in concrete fish ladder
  • July 31: First batch of sockeye transferred from French Bar Creek Holding Facility to Cultus Lake Salmon Research Laboratory (CLL)

August 2020

  • August 4: Sockeye start arriving at Big Bar in greater numbers
  • August 11: First spawning of 35 female sockeye at CLL
  • August 12: Truck and transport operations suspended, 1,500 fish moved over the slide
  • August 14: Target of collecting and transporting 400 Early Stuart sockeye to CLL achieved
  • August 18: Last Chinook at French Bar Creek Holding Facility transported to Vanderhoof
  • August 28: Whooshh™ tube extension completed and operational; French Bar Creek Holding Facility demobilization commences
  • August 30: UFFCA commences natal stream brood collection

September 2020

  • September 1: Third long-term planning technical meeting held
  • September 8: Whooshh™ operations concluded, 8,200 fish moved through the system; Fish wheel operations began downstream for coho radio tagging


October 2020

  • October 6: Indigenous partners and DFO released 20,000 2019 brood year Early Stuart sockeye as fall smolts
  • October 21: DFO monitoring program concluded onsite operations and radio tagging activities, 1,000 fish radio tagged
  • October 24: Alfalfa and Churn Creek sonars ceased operations, 161,000 fish detected 40 km upstream of slide site to date

November 2020

  • November 17: PSPC awarded permanent fishway construction contract to Kiewit

December 2020

  • December 7: JESC representatives briefed FNLP regarding next steps in permanent fishway implementation and 2021 summer operations
  • December 8: HBFN and SXFN leadership visited the site along with DFO, PSPC, Provincial and Kiewit staff
  • December 15: Fourth long-term planning technical meeting held
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