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Electrofishing Certification

Description

NRTG is the leading provider of electrofishing training in Canada. Since 1994, NRTG staff have successfully trained more than 10,000 Canadian industry practitioners in the practice of safe and effective electrofishing. NRTG personnel are highly respected and recognized leaders in the delivery of backpack and boat electrofishing certification training.

Each NRTG course includes free, lifetime admission. Enrol once – come back anytime.

NRTG’s Electrofishing Certification course is approved by WorksafeBC (British Columbia) and is endorsed by Worksafe agencies across Canada. The course is offered in two formats:

  1. Option #1: A blended approach through the Electrofishing Certification Self-Paced Training and subsequent Electrofishing Certification Field Session.
    • Please note that students MUST successfully complete the Electrofishing Certification Self-Paced Training at least 5 days prior to attending the mandatory ‘day two’ Electrofishing Certification Field Session.
  2. Option #2: A classroom-based ‘day one’ presentation with an in-person instructor, followed by a scheduled ‘day two’ Electrofishing Certification Field Session. This option is available for contract deliveries only.

For both options, attendance and successful completion of the ‘day two’ field practicum is mandatory.

During the Electrofishing Certification Field Session, students will participate in a realistic field practicum, wearing and operating the backpack electrofishing unit, setting the machine for effective capture, and completing sweeps and collection of fish. Students not operating the machine will participate in the field crew as dip netters and sampling crew.

This course offers three levels of certification: (1) Crew Supervisor, (2) Crew Supervisor-in-Training OR (3) Crew Member. Each level of certification is determined by the participant’s grade on the course, knowledge evaluation, and level of competency shown in the field practicum.

Each NRTG Electrofishing Certification course includes our Electrofishing Recertification course. To register for the Recertification course, simply contact us.

Please do not attend this training course if:

  1. You have or had symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 14 days (cough, sneeze, sore throat, fever, difficulty breathing).
  2. Have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
  3. Share a home with someone who has been exposed to COVID-19.

Testimonials

“Darren’s level of experience is obvious and his professionalism as an instructor is top-notch. Amazing course.”

— Michael Richard, Biologist, Burnaby, B.C.

“Eric was a great instructor; very knowledgeable, helpful, respectful, and passionate about course content. Field component was very valuable, and brought together the whole course.”

— Dylan Begin, Biologist, Cranbrook, B.C.

“This course exceeded my expectations. By far the most informative and engaging course I have taken. Amazing instructor and course!”

— Stacy Boczulak, Biologist, Burnaby, B.C.

“Darren was simply put the best instructor one could ask for on this topic. An informative, fun and incredibly relevant course.”

— Nadin Boegelsack, Biologist, Calgary, Alberta

“One of the most fun, educational courses I have completed. Wonderful instructor. Don’t change anything!”

— Dani McIntosh, Parks Canada Biologist, Banff, Alberta

“The most enjoyable certification course I have ever taken!”

— Ian Reynolds, Biologist, Victoria, B.C.

“Good balance of field vs. classroom time. I felt the length of each portion was perfect. The instructor was such an excellent instructor – clear, approachable, helpful, encouraging. Highly recommend!”

— Melanie Kuzyk, Ecologist, North Vancouver, B.C.

“Excellent course with very knowledgeable instructor. Will definitely attend future NRTG courses!”

— Hilary Goble, Biologist, Crossfield, Alberta

“Kyle’s delivery of your Electrofishing course was absolutely top-notch. He is knowledgeable, professional, and most of all, unfailingly cheerful and patient. Our field session was the third in two days, and I got the feeling from Kyle that he would not rather be anywhere else than right there teaching us about zapping fish. He took care to assist with review before the test, ensuring we all had the time we needed to be comfortable with the material. I believe the integrity of your program is superbly represented by this instructor.”

— Scott Klassen, Biologist, Vanderhoof BC

“Darren is awesome…learned so much. Best course I have taken in the industry.”

— Brendan Such, Biologist, Cochrane, Alberta

Outcomes

By the end of this course, course participants will be able to:

  • Define electrofishing certification, standards and the practice of electrofishing
  • Contrast and define the levels and responsibilities of Electrofishing Certification
  • Identify mandatory and applicable Electrofishing standards and regulations
  • Manage resistance, voltage and power in an electrofishing system
  • Define and contrast electrical pulse types and electrical fields in water
  • Contrast the types of electrofishing units, and their components, features, limitations and capabilities
  • Identify mandatory and optional personal protective gear
  • Identify backpack electrofisher safety features
  • Maintain and troubleshoot backpack electrofishers and associated field gear
  • Interpret site conditions and adjust electrofishing settings to maximize catch efficiency
  • Calculate appropriate electrofisher settings
  • Identify best strategies to maximize catch efficiency while minimizing impacts
  • Manage electrofisher power appropriately and effectively
  • Identify key electrofishing safety procedures
  • Respond effectively to an electrofishing-related field incident
  • Conduct standard emergency response procedures
  • Define crew size and structure
  • Identify key factors influencing electrofishing in the field
  • Identify and determine crew roles and responsibilities
  • Conduct equipment checkout procedure(s) prior to beginning a field session
  • Identify key fish habitats and best strategies to capture fish as a team
  • Respond appropriately to potentially dangerous scenarios
  • Communicate effectively with field crews and the general public
  • Identify types of electrofishing field programs
  • Identify and minimize fish impacts
  • Practice safe and efficient fish sampling and handling

Prerequisites

First Aid requirements will vary by province or country. Typically, an approved Level One first aid course (containing a CPR component) is required. Please consult with the applicable Worksafe or safety regulatory agency:

Note: First aid training may be completed prior to or after this training program, and must be successfully completed prior to participating in actual electrofishing field work.

Who enrolls in this course?

This course is designed for anyone requiring electrofishing certification training in Canada and North America. Typical course participants include: environmental consultants, government, First Nations, and other industry stakeholders.

You Supply

Course participants are required to provide their own personal protective equipment (PPE). For the field practicum, at a minimum, participants must supply their own leak-free chestwaders, Nitrile gloves and non-surgical mask. Note: students will not be permitted to participate in the field practicum without these items.

Please note: Participants must provide and wear the following PPE prior to participating in actual electrofishing field work:

  • Non-leak chestwaders
  • Non-slip footwear (felt, cleat or aggressive rubber sole)
  • Wading belt
  • Polarized sunglasses
  • Hat with a brim

Note: NRTG will supply Lineman’s gloves, electrofishing units, and all associated field equipment during this training program.

PLEASE ensure your wading equipment is free of invasives and Whirling disease. More information is found here and here.

How do I Attend?

This course is available via our website schedule, or on contract to industry or community groups. NRTG’s Electrofishing Certification course is regularly scheduled for community-based deliveries throughout the year (March to late October, providing suitable weather).  Interested groups or organizations can also arrange for an ‘in-house’ or contract delivery of this course.  In either scenario, contact NRTG for further information.

Re-Certification 

NRTG’s ‘Electrofishing Certification’ course includes free, lifetime recertification with our “Electrofishing Recertification” course.   To be eligible, prospective registrants for NRTG’s ‘Electrofishing Recertification’ course: 

  1. Have previously attended an NRTG ‘Electrofishing Certification’ course
  2. May only attend an NRTG ‘Electrofishing Recertification‘ course that has met its minimum (paid) registration total (typically 10 registrants, may vary by location).
  3. Please note: NRTG will limit the number of free re-certification ‘seats’ to three for any one course delivery.

Frequently Asked Questions

We offer this course beginning in February in coastal regions and March in interior regions throughout North America. Please refer to our Schedule page for course timing and locations.

First aid training may be obtained before or after this training program and should be in place prior to conducting electrofishing activities as a paid employee or worker.

Ensure first aid training is recognized and endorsed by Worksafe agencies in North America. This one-day training program may be referred to by different titles, such as “Occupational First Aid” or “Standard First Aid”. Consult with your provincial or state Worksafe authorities for more information.

To attend this course, students much provide and wear leak-free chestwaders and non-slip footwear (e.g., rubber, Vibram ® soles, cleats). While employed and conducting electrofishing activities, all crew members must provide and wear a hat with a brim, polarized sunglasses, leak-free chestwaders, wading belt, lineman gloves, and non-slip footwear.

You can purchase chestwaders from Canadian Tire, any flyfishing shop across Canada, Cabela’s, or industry suppliers such as Dynamic Aqua Supply (Surrey, BC), IRL Supplies (Prince George, BC), Winners Edge (Lillooet, BC), Surplus Herby’s (Williams Lake, Kamloops, Vernon BC), Forestry equipment suppliers across Canada, and other outdoor equipment outfitters.

First, always ensure your chestwaders don’t leak! You can do this easily by holding a flashlight (or your phone) in your waders in a dark room. Beams of light coming out in small pinholes might indicate a small hole. Patch using Aqua seal or Shoe Goo.  

Neoprene chestwaders are appropriate for spring, fall and winter conditions but may be too warm for summer field work. Nylon chestwaders and Gore-Tex ® or breathable chestwaders are excellent choices for most seasons, where crew members wear warm layers (e.g., fleece, polypropylene) underneath during colder field conditions.

Felt soles can offer stable footing in most types of stream substrates but may be poor choices when working in areas of extensive clay stream bottoms or snowy banks. Felt soles will provide very poor traction on clay and snow will stick to and accumulate on felt-soled wading shoes. Wading shoes with cleats (aluminum or tungsten) will provide stable footing in a variety of substrates (gravels, cobbles, clay, large boulders) and are less likely to transfer invasive species from waterbody to waterbody.

No, there is no requirement to recertify your electrofishing certificate. If there is a significant pause in your electrofishing fieldwork (e.g., four years or more), we would recommend that you recertify with NRTG. Note: all NRTG courses include free, lifetime certification. Enrol once – come back anytime.

No. Boat electrofishing is entirely unique from backpack electrofishing and requires different skills, abilities and knowledge. NRTG offers both backpack and boat electrofishing certification. Please refer to our Courses page for more information.

Simply contact NRTG via phone or email and request your upgrade. Please provide us with the previous NRTG course date and location. We will issue you a free upgraded Certificate!

Yes, as this is a WorksafeBC requirement. To certify in BC, attend our Electrofishing Recertification course where you can attend both the online theory session and/or field session.

This course requires that you finish the Electrofishing Certification Self-Paced Training at least 5 days before your Electrofishing Field Studies session. If you cannot complete the Self-Paced Training in that time, please contact NRTG.

Alternatively, you can wait for NRTG to automatically deregister you from the course and you can use the tuition fee held by NRTG to schedule another course, or defer your Field session registration to a future date when the Self-Paced Training will be successfully completed.

This course is available via our website schedule, or on contract to industry or community groups. NRTG’s Electrofishing Certification course is offered in two formats:

  1. A blended approach through the Electrofishing Certification Self-Paced Training and subsequent Electrofishing Certification Field Session.
    • Please note that students MUST successfully complete the Electrofishing Certification Self-Paced Training at least 5 days prior to attending the mandatory ‘day two’ Electrofishing Certification Field Session.
  2. A classroom-based ‘day one’ presentation with an in-person instructor, followed by a scheduled ‘day two’ Electrofishing Certification Field Session. This option is available for contract deliveries only.

Our Electrofishing Certification courses are regularly scheduled for community-based deliveries throughout the year (February to late October, providing suitable weather). Interested groups or organizations can also arrange for an in-house or contract delivery of this course. Please contact NRTG for further information.

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