The Yellow Fish Road™ program is a national environmental education program led by Trout Unlimited Canada. Since 1991, thousands of Canadians have participated in this important program to learn about the impact their community has on the local water supply. Participants remind their community of the importance of clean water and the proper use of products and disposal of wastes by painting yellow fish symbols near storm drains and distributing educational fish-shaped door hangers to homes in the area.
Why is the Yellow Fish Road Program Important?
In the City of Timmins, water and materials entering storm drains does not get treated at the waste water treatment plant before entering local water bodies.
Storm drains located at the edge of roadways or in parking lots were designed to carry storm water only (rain water or melting snow). Things like excess litter, dog feces, motor oil, pesticides, fertilizers and soap from washing your vehicle end up in our rivers and lakes through storm drains. This creates an unhealthy environment for the fish and wildlife living in or around water such as birds and fish. This type of pollution can also reduce the quality of our municipal drinking water source.
How does the program work?
The Yellow Fish Road™ program is a fun and interactive way to teach the importance of safe, clean water and to demonstrate how decisions made by one person can make a difference to a whole community.
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 symbols near storm drains to serve as a reminder that any materials entering the storm drain affect or water resources. Participants also deliver educational door hangers to homes in the area to educate the community about their actions and rationale behind the Yellow Fish Road program.
The impact of this program can be huge! If the program can prevent one person from pouring a litre of paint down a storm drain, this directly benefits the community’s drinking water source and improves the habitat for aquatic species.
Who can participate?
The Mattagami Region Conservation Authority (MRCA) is a new official partner of the Yellow Fish Road program. The MRCA will supply all the materials needed to participate. Enthusiastic school and community groups are welcome to participate! The Yellow Fish Road Program runs from May until October. It’s a fun, easy and effective method of educating youth and urban communities about how we can all improve the water quality in our rivers and lakes. Educational support materials are available for a range of grades.