Amazon Associates – We are now offering environmental programs to associates in Canada and the US! Choose your program here! Our newest self-paced program, ‘Water Sustainability Technician’ is open for enrollment! Learn more here! ‘Land Guardian Program’ registrations are now open here! Join us!

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. This program will provide hands on training in the many field techniques and FHR project requirements. Course participants will learn 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. This course will include class-based presentations, and extensive field training.

NRTG is now offering a blended Fish Habitat Restoration – Field Skills training 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

FHR – Field Techniques is one in a series of NRTG Fish Habitat Restoration training programs currently offered, including Fish Habitat Restoration – Instream Techniques and Fish Habitat Restoration – Prescription DevelopmentEach 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 FHR – Field Techniques course will be offered in a few select locations and dates for fall 2019. Future plans include offering this training in other Canadian provinces, as well as contract deliveries to any organization or company. For more information, please contact us.

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


Upon successful completion, participants will be able to:   

  • Identify and contrast roles and responsibilities for a FHR program
  • Identify and contrast types of fish habitat restoration
  • Collect biophysical stream pre-development field data
  • Conduct fish exclusion and fish salvage techniques on site
  • Identify and contrast types of erosion and sediment control options and techniques
  • Identify (fish) limiting factors in the field
  • Conduct stream hydrology procedures
  • Conduct rod and level surveying (long profiling) on site
  • Conduct fish population estimation techniques, including multi-pass fish removal
  • Identify key scheduling considerations for a Fish Habitat Restoration project

Who enrolls in the FHR – Field Techniques course?

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


Current and valid backpack Electrofishing Certification is recommended, but not mandatory. Previous experience with Fish Habitat Assessment, or completion of NRTG’s Fish Habitat Assessment – Level One course is recommended.

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 FHR – Field Techniques course 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

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. 

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.

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.

Related Training