Trout Unlimited Canada has partnered with FortWhyte Alive to bring their Yellow Fish Road™ program to Winnipeg since April, 2015.
Yellow Fish Road™ offers two complimentary streams of programming within the City of Winnipeg:
- Presentations: available to schools and community groups starting at $60 + GST. These fun, interactive, inquiry based, water education programs link to Manitoba curriculum.
- Storm Drain Painting Action Projects: available free of charge, these projects are a great way for youth to raise community awareness about pollution entering our waterways through storm drains.
To request a presentation, please download a Presentation Request Form and fill in the date and times you prefer.
To do an action project, please also download and fill out our Storm Drain Painting Project Request Form, the presenter will bring the storm drain painting kits on the day of the presentation.
Send requests to: Michele Kading M.Sc.
Yellow Fish Road Background
The Yellow Fish Road™ program is a nation-wide environmental education initiative launched by Trout Unlimited Canada in 1991. Since its inception, over 140,000 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. Youth reinforce the knowledge they have gained by taking action to help ensure clean water in their community
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.
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.
The program has two components:
- Learning: participants learn about water, where it comes from, where it goes, who lives there and what they need to survive. They then explore how water pollution can find its way into our waterways and change water and its inhabitants. These interesting and interactive programs are all aligned with the Manitoba curriculum.
- 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 washing their car in the driveway and having soap and phosphates go 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 that use the river for food, shelter and reproductive purposes.
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