Advanced Fish Sampling

NRTG’s MicroCourses offer a dynamic training pathway that’s as flexible as it is enriching to build expertise. Our Advanced Fish Sampling MicroCourse, spanning four hours, delivers in-depth training in an easily digestible format. It’s designed to maximize your skills for immediate application.   

The fundamentals of fish sampling are readily available to the interested investigator and in many cases are actively taught, either through formal training providers such as NRTG or using in-house company “boot camps” or mentoring programs. However, effectively capturing and sampling of fish is a practiced skill and with experience the practitioner learns how to set nets and traps effectively to increase their catch. NRTGs Advanced Fish Sampling MicroCourse is intended for that purpose, to draw on decades of experience capturing and sampling fish to provide students tips, tricks, and strategies to not only set the gear but also to do so in manners to increase catch, while also reducing impacts to trapped fish or mammalian and avian bycatch.  

The course will build on the basics and refine strategies for use of the most commonly used freshwater sampling methods (minnow traps, Fyke net, seines, snorkeling). It will also introduce lesser known, but very useful techniques (visual techniques, specialized nets and traps, use of submersibles). Attention will also be paid to aspects of study design, such as selection of gear and intensity of sampling. In addition, biological sampling that extends beyond the standard length and weight measurements (stomach content analysis, fecundity, DNA sampling) will be described and explored.  

This MicroCourse is intended to assist practicing field staff in improving fish sampling knowledge and skill from the study design to fish capture and on through biological sampling. While the focus of the course is primarily freshwater streams and lakes, some discussion and content relevant to the marine environment is included.   

Course will be 4 hours long. 

Instructor Profile 

Sean Mitchell, PhD, RP Bio

NRTG Program Manager

Sean has worked in and studied the field of biology and impact assessment since 1987 and in that time has gained experience in four Canadian provinces (British Columbia, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland) working on a broad array of fish and wildlife, from periphyton to mammals. Sean’s experience has ranged widely from basic fieldwork to experimental biomechanics of crustaceans; from environmental impact analyses and fisheries issues through biogeography, philosophy, and sophisticated data analyses and modelling; from forests to the ocean. Sean has been, and strives to remain, a generalist in a world of hyper specialization and fascination with technology.