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Fish Habitat Restoration – Field Techniques


The Fish Habitat Restoration (FHR) – Field Techniques course is a three-day, field-based training program suited for technicians and field biologists conducting fish habitat restoration (FHR) programs. Course participants will learn in-demand restoration skills, including how to conduct fish population estimates using multi-pass fish removal techniques, fish exclusion and salvage techniques, erosion and sediment control on site, rod and level surveying and stream long profiling, field hydrology, stream measurements including bed roughness and composition, and how to identify limiting factors in the field.

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

FHR – Field Techniques is one in a series of NRTG Fish Habitat Assessment and Restoration training programs currently offered, including Fish Habitat Restoration – Instream Techniques, Fish Habitat Restoration – Prescription Development, and Fish Habitat Assessment – Level One. Each program focuses on a specific area of assessment and restoration and is designed to complement our other Fish Habitat training programs. While these courses may be completed in any order, we recommend first completing Fish Habitat Assessment – Level One.

Who attends?

Course participants may include technicians, Indigenous stewards, field biologists and other field personnel involved in FHR field procedures and projects.

How do I attend?

This course is available for individual registration via our website Schedule Page, or on contract to organizations/community groups. Are interested in a contract delivery of this course? If so, please contact us.

What should I bring or supply?

Participants are required to provide a 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. Own computer and a stable internet connection, writing supplies for taking notes are also recommended.

Related Training 

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.

This course includes a one-day online presentation and a two-day instructor-led field practicum. The online session may be scheduled in advance of the two-day field practicum, allowing participants time to travel to the field site location. 

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.

This field-based course is designed for field personnel conducting fish habitat restoration field activities associated with instream and off-channel restoration projects. The online FHR Instream and classroom-based Off-Channel Restoration include planning and design-level training and are appropriate for anyone responsible for planning, designing, constructing, and monitoring restoration projects and programs.