Beneath the Surface: Learning about waterways from the “Yellow Fish”

In most municipalities, including Invermere, stormdrains flow directly into the local waterbody without being treated.

The David Thompson Secondary School Leadership class and Lake Windermere Ambassadors are teaming up to bring “Yellow Fish” to our community on Thursday, May 29th.

What are Yellow Fish?

The fish symbols are part of a national conservation education initiative developed by Trout Unlimited Canada. The yellow fish symbol — painted on stormdrains — reminds passersby that stormdrains are the doorways to our streams, lakes and rivers.

In most municipalities, including Invermere, stormdrains flow directly into the local waterbody without being treated. Water, and anything it comes in contact with as it flows over our lawns and roads, will end up in Lake Windermere. This includes soap used to wash cars in the driveway, excess fertilizer, pesticide and herbicide spread onto lawns, dog feces left on the ground, oil and car fluids leaking onto roads, as well as construction and landscape debris. These substances can have a negative impact on the aquatic ecosystem by harming fish and wildlife, and also reduce recreational water quality for people.

Is this Deja Vu?

You might have seen these yellow fish before. That’s because, in 2010, the J.A. Laird Grade 7 Leadership Class painted the fish near Invermere’s stormdrains. Over time, the symbols have faded, meaning that it’s time to complete the project once again.

This spring, a group of students from that very class, now in the Grade 11 Leadership at DTSS, will be hitting the streets to let our community know that the importance of protecting water quality has not faded.

If you come across any of the yellow fish painted near storm drains or hanging on doorknobs around town, take a moment to think about what goes down our drains and how to keep our lake clean.

Kirsten Harma is the program co-ordinator for the Lake Windermere Ambassadors. She can be reached by phone at 250- 341-6898 or by email at info@lakeambassadors.ca.

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