Elementary Students Help Protect Kalamalka Lake

Posted Monday, April 23, 2018

The Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) asks motorists to watch for children participating in the Yellow Fish Road Watershed Awareness Program April 24 and 25 around Middleton Mountain.

“The Yellow Fish Road Program helps spread awareness of how what we do on land impacts our water,” said Jennifer Miles, RDNO Water Sustainability Coordinator.   “In most cases, storm drains flow directly into the nearest stream or lake.  On Middleton Mountain, the drains flow towards Kalamalka Lake and Vernon Creek, and any litter or contaminates on the land flow down the drain with the stormwater.  Only snowmelt or rain should go down the storm drain.”

In addition to learning about watersheds with the Allan Brooks Nature Trailer Team, students will paint yellow fish near storm drains as a reminder that residents should do what they can to avoid polluting our waterways.  Residents can:

  • Wash vehicles with a sponge or cloth instead of the hose, or on the grass instead of the pavement, to prevent oil and gas from being washed into drains.  Car washes are also a waterwise choice, as the wash water is collected and goes to the sewage treatment plant.
  • Avoid using chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides.  Many pollinators rely on early season blooms like dandelions, so choosing to leave these plants will save your time and help our bees. If applied incorrectly or too much, residual chemicals will runoff to our waterways.  Algae blooms, a problem for our drinking water as well as wildlife, are linked to nutrient loading (phosphorous and nitrogen) from fertilizers.
  • Bag pet waste and put it in the garbage.  Dog feces is one of the top pollutants in Coldstream Creek and other waterways.

For more information on the local Yellow Fish Road Program, an initiative of Trout Unlimited Canada, contact Jennifer Miles at 250-550-3700.