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Fish Habitat Restoration Certificate Program


The ten-day (80-hour) Fish Habitat Restoration Certificate Program (FHRC) is a field-based training program that focuses on training individuals in a series of key field skills required to conduct fish habitat restoration (FHR) field procedures, projects and fieldwork. The field training simulates realistic scenarios, where course participants learn how to perform technical skills and procedures under the direction of experienced instructors and practitioners.

The Fish Habitat Restoration Certificate program provides participants with skills and knowledge in FHR components, restoration methods, fish identification, fish capture, fish exclusion, salvage and population estimation, electrofishing certification, fish habitat assessment, field hydrology, erosion and sediment control, fish passage assessment and restoration and key project planning considerations. Contact NRTG for further details.

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

NRTG is now offering a blended Fish Habitat Restoration Certificate program. The classroom sessions are now offered and scheduled as a ‘live’ ONLINE Webinar with subsequent ‘face-to-face’ physical distancing field practicum sessions. For more information, please contact us!

Also, please take every precaution when deciding to attend this training. 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

The FHRC is typically delivered Monday to Friday over two consecutive weeks. The FHRC delivery ‘season’ will vary by region, as the program requires suitable field conditions (unfrozen stream water, and suitable water temperatures and flow levels, etc.).

The FHRC program is one in a series of NRTG Fish Habitat Restoration training programs currently offered, including Fish Habitat Restoration – Field Techniques and Fish Habitat Restoration – Instream Techniques and Fish Habitat Restoration – Prescription Development. Each program focuses on a specific area of restoration and is designed to complement our other FHR training program(s). These courses may be completed in any order.

Note: The Fish Habitat Restoration Certificate Program is designed to be delivered online and in the field in communities and to organizations throughout Canada. To arrange a delivery of this program in your community or for your group, please contact us.


Fish Habitat Restoration Certificate Program graduates are qualified to perform fish habitat restoration field methods and procedures directly, or as an assistant to professional biologists, hydrologists, experienced technicians and other fisheries professionals.

Upon successful completion, participants will be qualified and able to:

  • Identify FHR project components and restoration methods
  • Isolate an instream construction project
  • Install and maintain erosion and sediment control measures
  • Conduct standard fish exclusion, removal and population estimates
  • Conduct standard fish capture methods, including backpack electrofishing
  • Perform rod and level stream surveys
  • Conduct stream hydrology procedures, including flow metering
  • Conduct fish habitat assessments
  • Implement stream crossing assessment and restoration
  • Construct and install streambank restoration techniques and structures
  • Construct and install fish habitat restoration techniques and structures
  • Conduct FHR project planning
  • Implement an environmental monitoring field program

Who enrolls in the Fish Habitat Restoration Certificate Program?

Course participants typically include: Aboriginal stakeholders, current fisheries field technicians and technicians working in other sectors. 


None.  A standard one to two-day First Aid course is required as a co-requisite to the Electrofishing Certification training. 

Personal Protective Equipment

This course is both classroom and field based. Participants are required to bring/supply writing pad, pen/pencils and refreshments (lunch is not provided), as well as suitable field clothing, field transportation and own personal protective equipment, including: leak-free chestwaders, wading belt, hat with brim, non-slip footwear and polarized glasses. Note: NRTG will provide lineman’s gloves for all Electrofishing certified course participants. Non-certified students will be required to watch this demonstration or participate in other field training activities. For further information, please contact NRTG.

How do I Attend? 

This course is available via our website Schedule Page, or on contract to organizations/community groups. The FHRC program is regularly scheduled for community-based deliveries throughout the year. 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.

If you would like to have this course delivered to your group or community, please consider the following:

  1. Contact us well in advance of your preferred course start date
  2. If applicable, secure program funding
  3. Recruit course participants (most NRTG courses have minimum enrollments of 10-12 participants)
  4. Coordinate course participant equipment, classroom facility and contractual agreement with NRTG.

Check our course Schedule page for upcoming course deliveries. 

Frequently Asked Questions

The 15-day Fish Habitat Restoration Certificate (FHRCP) is modular in design where students complete a series of short courses over time. The FHRCP is comprised of the following NRTG courses: 

  1. Fish Habitat Restoration – Overview & Planning (in development) (one day)
  2. Fish Habitat Assessment – Level One (two days)
  3. Fish Ichthyology (one day)
  4. Fish Habitat Restoration – Prescription Development (in development) (one day)
  5. Fish Habitat Restoration – Field Techniques (three days)
  6. Fish Habitat Restoration – Instream Techniques (two days) 
  7. Fish Habitat Restoration – Off-Channel Techniques (two days) 
  8. Streambank Restoration Techniques (two days)
  9. Stream Crossing Assessment & Restoration (one day) (in development)

NRTG will schedule and offer each course module throughout the year. Over time, students register in and successfully complete this series of courses to obtain an FHRCP Certificate.  All course modules are offered online except for our Fish Habitat Restoration – Field Techniques course which includes a two-day field practicum. The online sessions include online presentations and student-led field exercises. Our instructors will provide direction and support for all field exercises, and students should identify and scout 2-3 local streams (within 20 minutes from your location) in advance of the course start date.

The individual course modules that comprise the FHRC Program are offered throughout the year. The online and field-based Fish Habitat Restoration – Field Techniques course is scheduled for community-based deliveries 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.

Course participants are required to provide chestwaders, waterproof field notebook, as well as optional equipment items: clinometer, Eslon or other 30m measuring tape, and meter stick (1.2m wooden doweling, marked in centimeters).

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 do not 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 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.

The FHRC Program includes all NRTG Fish Habitat Restoration short courses and expands into new topics such as prescription development, Fish Ichthyology, and Stream Crossing Assessment and Restoration. These additional topics and courses provide students with a complete and comprehensive suite of skills and knowledge sets that qualify individuals to conduct and participate in a wide variety of fish habitat restoration projects.

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