Yellow Fish Road Program

The Yellow Fish Road™ Program, has one simple message -  anything entering the stormdrain flows directly to the local water body untreated. Participants paint yellow fish next to storm drains and distribute fish-shaped brochures, to remind residents that only rainwater should be going into the storm drain.

Anything that goes into our  storm drains either flows into stormwater ponds, which flow into the Sheep River, or goes directly to the Sheep River untreated.  Litter, salt, soap, pesticide, herbicide and fertilizer from our lawns, driveways, sidewalks and roads  goes directly into our river. This waste and chemicals can have a negative impact on the aquatic ecosystem, not only by harming fish and wildlife, but also reducing drinking water quality for humans.

If you would like to participate in this valuable program please call 403.995.8901 or


Help tip the scales in the direction of fish protection! 

What is the Yellow Fish Road™

Trout Unlimited Canada’s Yellow Fish Road™ program educates the public about the impacts of pollution entering urban storm drains. In most communities, water entering storm drains goes directly into local rivers, streams and lakes untreated. Storm drain pollution can harm fish and wildlife, as well as reduce water quality for human use.

Yellow Fish Road™ volunteers paint “yellow fish” symbols and the words, ‘Rainwater Only’ beside storm drains and distribute fish-shaped brochures to nearby households. These activities remind people to properly use and safely dispose of hazardous household chemicals, rather than allowing these to enter curb side storm drains.
Trout Unlimited Canada (TUC) introduced the Yellow Fish Road™ program in 1991. To date, over 220 communities across Canada have approved or implemented this unique and important water quality initiative.
Non-point source pollution is pollution spread over a large area and not from one specific location or source; this type of pollution is hard to trace to its source (e.g. garbage, soil, oil, gravel, salt, animal droppings, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, etc.). Point source pollution is easily traced to its source (e.g. factories and sewage treatment plant wastewater).

Learn more about Trout Unlimited Canada (TUC)

What is a Storm Drain?
Stormdrains (catch basins) are the grates found on roads by the curb. Stormwater runoff goes into the grates, through a network of underground pipes, out as stormwater outfall and into the local water body.
Don’t confuse stormdrains with manholes! Manholes are not necessarily part of the sewage system – they could be access points to underground cables, pipes and other structures.
What is a Watershed?

A watershed includes the area of land in which all water drains to a common point. All streams, groundwater, and runoff go to the same drainage point (e.g. a river or a lake).

There are five National Watersheds in Canada, which Watershed do you live in?

Find out now! 

Non-point Source Pollution
Non-point Source Pollution is the single largest contributor to water pollution!
As rainfall or snowmelt moves over and through the ground, it picks up and carries away natural and human-made substances (chemicals, sediment and debris), depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and underground sources of drinking water.
Pollutants do not enter a local river, lake, or stream through the stormdrain system at a constant rate over the year. There is a large increase in non-point source pollution in the springtime. This is peak time for runoff from snowmelt and rain which ends up in the storm drain system, untreated.
Where do these pollutants come from?
There are many sources of water pollutants, including recreational, residential, industrial and agricultural sources.
 Canadian households  generate more than 60,000 tonnes of hazardous wastes, annually. Common examples of hazardous household wastes include: old car batteries, lighter fluid, turpentine, paint, gasoline, used motor oil, antifreeze, pool chemicals and pesticides. Other pollutants that commonly end up in the water system are soap and fertilizer. These may not be toxic, but in high concentrations, they can have a negative impact on the aquatic ecosystem.
Since around 70% of towns and cities are paved or built upon, about half of the precipitation that falls never touches the soil. Water slowly moving through soil (groundwater) naturally gets filtered, while water running over pavement collects debris and chemicals and goes directly into the stormdrain system.
What are the effects of non-point source pollution?
Non-point source pollution in our waterways impacts not only humans but the animals and plants that depend on that water. It can affect the food chain and is the major source of human exposure to persistent toxic chemicals. Aquatic life can become negatively altered or destroyed when exposed to hazardous waste; this is especially true with fish and wildlife.
The water in your watershed continues on to the next community’s watershed. Municipal water is treated before reaching households. If the water going into the treatment plant is contaminated, it takes more time and energy and, costs more to clean.
What Can I Do?
Painting stormdrains and distributing the fish-shaped door hangers with the Yellow Fish Road™ program in your community, informs residents that anything that goes into the stormwater system goes directly into the local waterbody. By educating communities about proper disposal of household hazardous wastes, we can reduce our impact on the aquatic ecosystem and ensure safe drinking water supplies for all living things.
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