"Committed to the recovery of wild Pacific salmon in mid Vancouver
Island watersheds through habitat restoration and community engagement"
"Committed to the restoration of wild Pacific salmon in mid Vancouver
Island watersheds through habitat restoration and community engagement"

Yellow Fish and You





Why were MVIHES volunteers Shelley Goertzen and Chris Smith promoting yellow fish signs at the MABRRI Regional Research Open House on March 16, in Qualicum Beach?

(Photo by Dave Erickson) 



This is the time of year when we start thinking about our lawns and gardens. Before we know it, the dry season will be upon us and our lawns and gardens will be getting thirsty. This is a great opportunity to have a Salmon Friendly Lawn and all you have to do is nothing. Don't water your lawn or use chemical herbicides or pesticides in your yard. Let your lawn go brown this summer. It will green up again with the Fall rains. 

How does this give you a Salmon Friendly Lawn? The water from our taps comes from either rivers and creeks or groundwater wells. Up to 40% of the water we use in summer is for watering our lawns. By not watering your lawn you leave more water in the rivers and creeks for juvenile salmon, when the water is needed the most. Also, creeks and rivers are fed by groundwater in the summer so the more water left in wells means more water in the creeks and rivers to support salmon. Chemical herbicides and  pesticides are harmful to fish and enter creeks and rivers through stormdrains or directly off the land.

yellowfish3MVIHES is promoting Salmon Friendly Lawns through a Yellow Fish program, where residents who pledge to not water their lawns or use chemical herbicides and pesticides will get a groovy yellow fish sign to show off to the neighbours and help promote the message of conserving water. The sign comes with a decal stating "brown is the new green" which makes having a  brown lawn not only a great thing for salmon but states you're a cool trend setter and influencer.  To take the pledge for a yellow fish, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you're interested in going the extra mile, rain barrels are a great option for watering trees, shrubs, vegetable and flower gardens to reduce tap water use even further. The  City of Parksville offers rebates for purchases of rain barrels. Check out the awesome brochure on rain barrels by Team Water Smart at the Regional District of Nanaimo.

Other things you can do to help your lawn remain healthy and reduce its watering needs are:                 

  • Mow your grass high (5 – 6 cm) and leave the grass clippings. Taller grass means less run-off, and healthier lawns. Healthier lawns are less likely to grow weeds.
  • Aerate your lawn and top-dress with compost to help rainwater penetrate deeper into the roots where it will do the most good and improve water retention.                                       

  You can make a difference.                               

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