As construction on the twinning of the Trans Mountain pipeline continues around the Fraser Valley, concerns about how the creation of the twinned line is impacting the Coquihalla River salmon run is at an all-time high.
In a video posted four days ago on TikTok by the account @kaska_cat, a man can be seen confronting two pipeline workers near the river at a construction site, just east of Hope.
“They killed the run,” he can be heard saying, before being told to leave the area by two of the workers.
“They’re killing them all. The food fishery is going on right now and they’re killing all the salmon!” the man continues.
According to a spokesperson with Trans Mountain, workers are currently installing the expansion project pipeline under the Coquihalla River to connect the Hope Station to the north riverbank.
“At the same time, Trans Mountain is also replacing a segment of the existing pipeline beneath the Coquihalla River for safe continued operation of the Trans Mountain system,” the spokesperson said. “Trans Mountain is completing both installations simultaneously and alongside each other to limit environmental impact to the Coquihalla River and to minimize disruptions to residents.”
Concerns over the pipeline peaked in the area earlier this year, when dead salmon full of eggs were discovered at the construction site.
In response to this, Kate Tairyan and the advocacy group Protect the Planet have been calling for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada to intervene and order pipeline developers to stop working until the salmon have made it through.
In a second statement to Black Press Media Friday (Aug. 12), Trans Mountain said that any early-run salmon were able to continue to move upstream through the river system unimpeded by Trans Mountain work.