Volunteers doing the storm drain marking challenge

Learn about Salmon Tracks, the small painted yellow fish that appear near Surrey storm drains.

Curious about all those yellow fish painted on the road? They are called Salmon Tracks! Yellow fish painted beside a storm drain remind us that roadside drains flow directly into a creek where fish live. When a toxic substance goes down a storm drain it flows to creeks, waterways and the ocean putting aquatic life at risk in Surrey’s many waterways.

The Salmon Tracks storm drain marking program is a partnership with Fisheries and Oceans Canada.  Our goal is to encourage the community to learn about salmon habitats and protect the water quality of our streams. Salmon Tracks is a fun and simple way to make your lasting mark on the City.

To participate in Salmon Tracks, we give you everything you, your family, or your group needs to mark drains in your neighbourhood.

Storm Drain Marking Challenge

Smiling boy shows off his yellow painted fish

Each summer, Surrey hosts the Storm Drain Marking Challenge, which aims to highlight the fact that all storm drains empty into fish-bearing streams throughout the city. This water enters streams untreated, so it is important that pollutants do not go down the drain.

This challenge seeks to educate community members while engaging them in a fun, family-friendly initiative! The Storm Drain Challenge runs from June 15 to August 15. It is a chance for the community to get involved in stewardship initiatives while having fun and getting outside.

With the stroke of a brush, you can help protect our fish-bearing streams!

Interested in taking part? Contact salmontracks@surrey.ca or call 604-591-4328 to request a Salmon Tracks kit that contains all of the supplies you’ll need to participate in the challenge.

Contest Alert!

This year, we are giving away two City of Surrey Coolers filled with City of Surrey and Salmon Habitat Restoration Program branded items to highlight the incredible work of the community members. 

Any Surrey resident can participate in the Storm Drain Marking Challenge by signing out a kit and painting yellow fish at unmarked storm drains to help prevent pollution. Every household that has registered to participate in the 2021 Storm Drain Marking Challenge will be automatically entered to win a prize.

The challenge runs until August 15, 2021, so sign up and help keep pollutants away from salmon habitat! 

Please read the full contest rules for complete details.

Salmon Tracks for Schools

Your school can get involved too! Salmon Tracks connects a curriculum-based classroom presentation with hands-on activities and fieldwork in your neighbourhood. It's a great chance to apply environmental concepts in the field and have students contribute to cleaner waterways within your City and community.

Getting Started

  • Contact salmontracks@surrey.ca or call 604-591-4321 to request a Salmon Tracks kit.
  • School and community groups will have the choice of receiving a 20-minute presentation all about the connection storm drains have to the environment. This can happen on the same day you wish to mark storm drains or at a more convenient time for your group. You will also be able to borrow the marking kit(s) for up to two weeks if you prefer to complete the activity at a different time.
  • Find a map of your neighbourhood and the location of the storm drains needing to be marked on COSMOS
  • On your storm drain marking day, your group will also be distributing door hangers to the neighbourhood to make the residents aware of the program and storm drains.
  • Once drains have been marked, you and your group can feel proud for having participated in a program to keep Surrey’s streams healthy for you and the salmon.

Storm Drain Marking Locations

There are tens of thousands of storm drains around the City and more than 3,550 drains have been marked in past challenges. Check out COSMOS to see where to plan your storm drain marking route.

Desktop Computer Instructions: Search Salmon Tracks then insert your address to find locations of storm drains are in your neighbourhood in need of marking.

Mobile Device Instructions: Search either by your address or your current location! Click on 'Slide to Show' and click on 'Layers & Legend' in the list.  Click Infrastructure toggle to 'ON' and zoom in by clicking '+' to show the fish dots on the storm drains.

The storm drains show up as red, yellow, or green fish-shaped dots on the map.

  • Green fish dots represent drains that need to be marked
  • Yellow fish dots represent drains that may need to be remarked
  • Red fish dots represent drains that have been marked

Remember to put safety first as you plan your route! Pick only storm drains on streets with low vehicle traffic.

Contact

Have a larger neighbourhood group, class or program that wants to mark storm drains? Contact salmontracks@surrey.ca, or call 604-591-4321 to request free presentations, support and supplies.