Yellow Fish RoadTM Program
Through the Yellow Fish Road™ program, volunteers paint yellow fish near storm drains to serve as a reminder that any materials going down storms drains can have an impact on aquatic life, including plants, insects, fish and animals, as well as on people who depend on local water for drinking.
Storm drains are the grates found on roadways beside the curb. Rain water and snowmelt drains into these grates, goes through a network of underground tunnels, and ends up in local waterways. This water is usually not treated to remove pollutants before it reaches the local watercourse.
Storm drain runoff can include soap used to wash the family car, excess fertilizer applied to lawns, salt used during the winter, or dirt and oil from roads and driveways.
In addition to painting yellow fish beside storm drains, “fish hangers,” or information pamphlets printed on yellow fish-shaped brochures, are hung on doors in the community to inform residents of why yellow fish have appeared in their neighbourhood.
Yellow Fish Road™ is a nation-wide environmental education program designed and managed by Trout Unlimited Canada. Since 1991, thousands of Canadians have become leaders in their community by raising awareness about pollution entering local waterways through storm drains.
Check out the Yellow Fish Road™ Program website
to find out more about conducting a program in your neighbourhood or contact us
What YOU can do to help protect local waterways!
Around the House
Reducing the amount of the products we use and using environmentally responsible products can reduce the impact of pollutants entering the watershed.
- Look for environmentally friendly or chemical-free products and materials.
- Use natural cleaners such as vinegar, lemon juice and baking powder.
- Properly dispose of hazardous household chemicals.
- Use water-based, environmentally friendly paints whenever possible.
- Find a household hazardous waste drop-off site that will accept used chemicals.
In the Garden and Yard
- Try these simple alternatives to synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
- Start your own compost pile to be used as a fertilizer or mulch.
- Direct downspouts to lawns and gardens not onto streets and storm drains.
- Practise companion planting, native plant use and water-wise plants.
- Instead of using man-made fertilizers, leave your grass clippings on the lawn (grass-cycling).
- An alternative to pesticide use is properly discarding insect infested plant material.
- Manually pull weeds and cover bare areas with seed/mulch in place of using herbicides.
- Encourage natural insect predators to your yard such as birds, bats, frogs, ladybugs and spiders.
- Water only when needed, during low evaporation times and use water collected from rain barrels.
- Look into Low Impact Development (LID) to manage stormwater (i.e.rain gardens, )
- Install more porous landscaping, driving and walking surfaces to 'slow the flow' of surface water.
On Driveways, Sidewalks and Roads
- Wash your vehicles at a carwash, or on the grass, instead of in your driveway.
- Sweep up and dispose of dirt and debris from paved surfaces before it enters the storm drain.
- Properly maintain your car to ensure car fluids don't leak onto the road.
- Use salt and sand alternatives on your driveway and sidewalk in the winter.
Other Things You Can Do
- Teach your friends and family what you learned about the Yellow Fish Road Program!
- Clean up after your pets and ensure their wastes are properly disposed of.
- Ensure garbage and chemicals don't enter the storm drain.
- Start a school or community composting or recycling program.
- Participate in the Yellow Fish Road program.
Take your group on a field trip:
- Tour a drinking water or a wastewater treatment facility
- Visit a hazardous waste depot, recycling facility or landfill.
- Visit a local waterbody to see what lives there.
- Try to find the outfalls that lead to local waterways.