By: Maija Hoggett

Yellow fish will soon be popping up across the city.

The Mattagami Region Conservation Authority (MRCA) teamed up with students from W. Earle Miller Public School for the unofficial launch of the Yellow Fish Road Program.

“The purpose of the program is just to raise awareness about stormwater pollution and we’re painting yellow fish on the sides of the stormdrains as a visual reminder that only rain is supposed to go down the storm drains,” said Crystal Percival, MRCA drinking water source protection lead.

There are a variety of items that end up in stormdrains that shouldn’t be there.

“A big one is dog feces, cigarette butts, there’s floating debris like garbage, Tim Hortons cups, plastics, even over fertilizing your lawn eventually if there’s a rain even that fertilizer runs down into the storm drains,” she said.

“The big problem and why we’re doing this program is because the water that enters into the storm drains unfortunately is not treated, so we’re trying to prevent potential contaminants from entering our waterway and making not only ourselves sick, but our wildlife as well.”

The program runs until October, and she said the goal is to paint every stormdrain in the city.

While it’s targeted for students, she said other community groups can participate.

“We have Friends of the Porcupine (River Watershed) here today, they’re helping us out. And then we have a member from Goldcorp that’s also helping us out,” she said, adding the mining company also provided funding for the program.

For more information on the Yellow Fish Road program, contact the MRCA at 705-360-2660 or [email protected].