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Yellow Fish Road

Trout Unlimited Canada - Storm Drains Marking Program The Yellow Fish Roadprogram is a nation-wide environmental education initiative launched by Trout Unlimited Canada in 1991.

Thousands of Canadian youth have participated in the program to learn about their water supply and the impact their community has on the supply of clean water.

Participants remind their community of the importance of clean water and properly disposing of hazardous wastes, by painting yellow fish near storm drains and distributing fish-shaped brochures. Children reinforce the knowledge they have gained by taking action to help ensure clean water in their community.

When water flows over lawns, roads, sidewalks, it picks up debris and flows untreated into the storm drains. Storm Drains

Storm drains or catch basins are located along the edges of roadways. They collect rainwater and snow melt which then flows through an underground pipe system into local creeks, streams, rivers or lakes. When water flows over lawns, driveways, gardens, roadways and sidewalks it picks up debris and flows untreated into the storm drains.

Non-point source pollution is pollution spread over a large area, like storm water runoff. This type of pollution is hard to trace and is the largest contributor to urban water pollution.

Hazardous materials, such as pesticides, soap, motor oil and fertilizers that enter storm drains will end up in our streams and rivers. This can create an unhealthy environment for aquatic animals, such as fish. Hazardous household wastes can also affect water quality and result in unsafe drinking water in our homes.

Fish, especially rainbow trout, are remarkable indicator species. Rainbow trout can act as the "canaries in the coal mine". Once trout are unable to frequent an area, it is an indicator that the water in that area may be unsafe for human use.

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How Does the Program Work?

The program is a fun, participatory way to teach the importance of clean water and to demonstrate how decisions made by one person can make a difference to a whole community. Yellow Fish Road is a program designed to education people on water source polution by storm drains.

The program has two components:

  • Learning: participants find their local water supply then explore how hazardous wastes can find their way into this water source.
  • Action: participants "make a difference" by painting yellow fish near storm drains to serve as a reminder that any materials entering the storm drain affect our water sources. Participants also distribute "fish hangers" on doors in the neighbourhood to educate the community about their actions and the rationale behind Yellow Fish Road.

The impact of the program can be enormous. If it stops one person from pouring a litre of paint down a storm drain, it will directly benefit the community's water source for drinking water, commerce and recreation. It will also provide tremendous benefit to animal and aquatic species who use the river for food, shelter and reproductive purposes.

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Running a Program in Your Community

  1. Choose a neighbourhood.
  2. Pick possible dates for painting.
  3. Contact Conservation Halton. External Link

Conservation Halton will provide equipment, additional information and advice on how to organize your Yellow Fish Roadday.

Conservation Halton co-ordinates the Yellow Fish Roadprogram on behalf of their partners:

  • City of Burlington
  • Town of Oakville

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Contact Information

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