I was returning from a visit to my friendly barber (now that's another story) and saw an interesting piece of graffiti on the footpath - and another, and another. Somebody had gone to a lot of trouble to make a template to spray, in an orderly manner, the words "CARS KILL FISH" in various locations on the footpath, walls, posts, etc.

This got me to wondering what this was all about. Now I understand that perhaps cars (or the drivers thereof) are responsible for the deaths of thousands of pedestrians and other road users per year, but the idea of fish-killing vehicles was beyond me. I would have thought that fishermen were responsible for more fish deaths than cars.

Perhaps the perpetrator of the defacing of this public property had witnessed a car leaving the road and landing in a river, ocean or trout hatchery, and was abhorred at the sight of dead fish floating to the surface - sufficiently enough to send them straight to the nearest hardware store for a sheet of thick cardboard, a craft knife, and a can of iridescent orange spray paint. I know witnessing such a sight myself would certainly drive me to alcohol or something equally as innocuous, but perhaps this person was just at the breaking point. Perhaps they had recently witnessed an aeroplane land on a squirrel, and were tossing up creating "AIRCRAFT KILL WOODLAND CREATURES".

Whatever the reason (there obviously is one), it is a fact of life that cars do, in fact, kill fish - I know because I read it several times on the street.

In Los Angeles, there are many storms drains which have been marked with 'Do Not Dump: This Drains To Ocean' or something to that effect. These markings often accompany the picture of a skeleton of a dead fish and were funded by such organizations as Heal The Bay and Surfrider Foundation. In Los Angeles, and presumably most areas, storm drain runoff discharges directly into rivers and the ocean, where oils, garbage, etc which are dumped in the street end up. Therefore, a car which is leaking oil or radiator fluid may indeed kill fish in the future. This effect is most notable during the first large storm after the dry season in Los Angeles, which washes 4-6 months of oil accumulation into the ocean. After these storms the beaches are often closed, and fish kills are not uncommon

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