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Great Blue Fish hunt raises Stormwater awareness - council

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Kids throughout Timaru are being challenged to hunt for blue fish to help raise awareness of how people can help clean up urban waterways.

The blue fish, which remind people that storm drains are for rain only, are appearing throughout Timaru.

Otipua-Saltwater Creek Catchment Group have teamed up with Timaru District Council and Environment Canterbury to run The Great Timaru Blue Fish hunt, where people can snap themselves with the fish and share and win prizes.

Rhys Taylor, facilitator of the Otipua-Saltwater Creek Catchment Group, has been among the volunteers installing the blue fish symbols on road stormwater drains that feed into that waterway.

"It is a neat way to show that our city streets connect directly with nature, close to homes and workplaces," he said. "Water that flows into these road drains is piped downhill to the North Branch of the Otipua, and carries whatever washes along with the rain, without any cleaning along the way. "This includes litter and dog waste, Zinc dissolves off galvanised iron roofs, copper dust comes from vehicle brake linings, other chemicals from the wear of tyres, oil drip of engines and exhausts.

"Cigarette butts provide tars and nicotine, sweet wrappers may include plastics - none of these are good for wildlife in rivers!

"Timaru children responding to this photo challenge may, as they have fun, think more about the connection between litter and wildlife, realising that it’s more than a global issue for beaches and oceans; it’s one that they can influence locally. Being ‘a Tidy Kiwi’ on-street helps to protect eels and whitebait."

Find as many as you can - the more fish you find, the more selfies you can take with them - and the more entries you can submit to the competition!

Extra prizes for the most creative photo with a poster or message about stormwater, and the school with the most student entries.

There's three ways to enter the competition:

-Send a photo or video to OR

-Message Timaru District Council on Facebook and tell us where you found the fish OR

-Tag #timarubluefish on Facebook or Instagram and say where you found the fish.

We’ll share our favourites on the Timaru District Council Facebook page @TimaruDC and on instagram at

This competition has been organised by the community’s Otipua-Saltwater Creek Catchment group with support from Timaru District Council and Environment Canterbury.

The Catchment Group meets quarterly and is learning about stormwater and river fish from guest speakers at its next public event, on Thursday evening 23 July from 7pm at Timaru Boys High School library.

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