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Yellow Fish Road

What is Yellow Fish Road (YFR)?

Yellow Fish Road™ is a free storm drain painting program that promotes awareness about urban runoff pollution with various groups such as school classes, eco clubs, youth groups, neighborhood groups, or even your family/friends!  

Note: The Yellow Fish Road Program is FREE if you participate through the City of Lethbridge, and the kit must be returned. If you wish to have a kit permanently, Trout Unlimited sells Self Discovery Kits. More information at the bottom of this webpage. 

2024 Blitz Days:

Day 1: Tuesday, June 18 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Firelight Pond West.

Day 2: Tuesday, July 16 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Chinook Lake North.

Day 3: Tuesday, August 20 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Coulee Creek Park South.

Information for Blitz Days

  • Blitz Days are an opportunity to show up and paint storm drains. No need to RSVP, just come on out if you would like to participate.
  • Adults must be present for duration of the event.
  • Blitz Day events are weather dependent. If it is raining or there are extreme winds >60km/hour the event will be cancelled.
  • Be prepared to walk distances to find storm drains.
  • Bring a water bottle or snack, if you would like.
  • Remember to have fun and bring your friends and family out!
  • NEW in 2024: the Blitz Days will be combined with Adopt-A-Park and Adopt-A-Storm Drain. We will also be educating the community about aquatic invasive species in our storm ponds!

The City of Lethbridge has partnered with Trout Unlimited Canada (TUC) and Oldman Watershed Council (OWC) to lend you a painting kit that has everything you need, so you can paint at your leisure this summer.

It's easy as 1, 2, 3 

  1. Contact us to borrow a kit and receive a brief information session.
  2. Paint as many storm drains as you'd like and deliver door hangers to mailboxes on the streets you painted. There are four roles to consider and feel free to rotate them within your group:
    1. Safety: Two people must wear safety vests at all time, ensuring safety for those painting.
    2. Painting: Use the stencil and paint provided. Use minimal paint, and have someone hold the stencil.
    3. Door hangers: Please place door hangers in mailboxes, if possible, so the wind does not blow it away!
    4. Recording: Tally the stormdrains painted and door hangers placed in mailboxes, and mark the painted stormdrains on the maps provided.
  1. Return the supplies to Security in City Hall, or contact the person who lent you the kit for pick up.  

You can participate April through August. You can keep a kit for up to two weeks in order to paint everything you want to paint. 

  • An adult to paint with the youth under the age of INSERT
  • Water bottle
  • Paint friendly clothing 
  • Good walking shoes (you may be required to walk to stormdrains in the area)

You can paint in your neighbourhood or anywhere within the community!

Painting yellow fish beside storm drains reminds your friends and family that storm drains are NOT connected to the Wastewater Treatment Plant.  Water from storm drains in Lethbridge empty directly into the Oldman River, untreated!  The YFR program is one way you can help to remind people of this fact and bring awareness to it.

What types of pollution can enter storm drains?

Pesticides are used to get rid of unwanted ​pests, including:​

  • insects (ins​ecticides)
  • vegetation (herbicides)
  • rodents (rodenticides) ​ 
  • fungi (fungicides)  

Improperly applied pesticides can enter the water system and can cause deformities, reproductive problems, and even death in fish and other aquatic life.

How can you help? 
Hand-pulling and spot spraying weeds are good ways to reduce the amount of pesticides that need to be used.  If pesticides must be used read and follow the instructions carefully.

Fertilizers are nutrients (phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium) applied to the soil to help plants grow faster and larger.  Fertilizers that wash into the river cause aquatic plants to grow more too.  This can cause river weeds to grow out of control which can take up space, light, and oxygen from other aquatic life that needs it. 

How can you help? 
Using natural fertilizers such as compost, mulch, and grass clippings (grasscycling) can eliminate the need for undesirable synthetic chemical fertilizers.

Oil and gas leaks from vehicles, accidental spills, or dumping are highly toxic to aquatic plants and animals.

How can you help?
Cleaning up spills properly, not hosing down driveways to clean them and ensuring to fix leaky vehicles quickly will reduce oil and gas residues in the Oldman River.

Pet poop contains nutrients and bacteria that can be washed into our river. The nutrients can cause:

  • excess plant and algae growth (the same way fertilizers do)
  • diseases

How can you help? 
Being a responsible pet owner and picking up after our pets is the only way to keep these toxins out of our river.

Dirt is everywhere in a windy city and is a difficult problem to manage. Too much dirt in a river causes a dirty, cloudy river, but most aquatic plants and animals prefer clean, clear water. 

How can you help? 
By sweeping up dirty driveways instead of hosing them off which allows the dirty water to run straight into the river. Keeping storm drains clean will help as well because often large lumps of dirt, litter and branches are trapped by the grates.

When we don't dispose of garbage responsibly, it can end up in our local waters. This creates a poor living environment for aquatic species.

How can you help?

With the wind in Lethbridge, ensure you tie your bags of garbage, close garbage lids, and dispose of garbage in receptacles around the city if you are away from your home or business.

You can also participate in a Coulee Clean Up and/or Shoreline Clean Up to help clean the community year round.

Looking to share this information with your group or to recruit people to help? Request our YFR brochure by emailing or connect with 311 for more information. 

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