Snorkel Survey Techniques


Snorkel surveying is an effective procedure for evaluating fish populations and assessing habitat use, fish abundance, and run timing. The Snorkel Survey Techniques (SST) course is a two-day applied review of standard snorkel survey methods. Course participants attend a ½ day online session with live instruction and complete exercises to learn first-hand how to plan, prepare and conduct a safe and efficient snorkel survey. A ½ or full-day field training session then take places in a dynamic river where course participants will learn to conduct snorkel surveys for adult spawning fish and resident juvenile fish.

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

Who attends?

Course participants typically include current fisheries field technicians and biologists, other environmental professionals, resource workers, individuals new to the industry and graduates of other natural resource-related programs.

How do I attend?

This course is available via contract only to organizations/community groups.  To arrange a contract delivery, please contact us.

What should I bring or supply?

Course participants will be required to supply their own wet or dry suit, mask, footwear, and gloves (optional). These items can be rented at local dive shops or other suppliers. Participants should contact equipment suppliers well in advance of this training program and find and secure suitable fitting equipment. Other items of mandatory equipment include suitable under garments and field clothing, bag lunch and refreshments. Participants are also required to provide an own computer and a stable internet connection, writing supplies for taking notes are also recommended.

More Information

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

  • Identify pre-planning steps and considerations
  • Identify who, what, when, where and why considerations for snorkel surveys
  • Research and construct a study design
  • Conduct standard snorkeling protocols to enumerate adult and juvenile fish
  • Identify adult and juvenile fish and habitats
  • Contrast standard population estimation techniques
  • Conduct population estimation techniques
  • Implement snorkel survey and river safety protocols
  • Collect and manage snorkel survey field data

Kyle Milburn, BSc., Fisheries Biologist

Kyle Milburn has 10 years experience conducting fisheries and hydrometric studies in British Columbia. Since 2008, Kyle has worked as a consultant conducting environmental impact assessments, for Independent Power Producers, as well as conducting water use plan studies for BC Hydro.

Kyle has worked on countless streams throughout British Columbia and has extensive knowledge in the fields of fisheries resource inventory, snorkel surveying, fish habitat assessment, in stream flow studies, ramping studies/stranding monitoring, water quality testing and hydrometric installations and measurements.

Kyle has numerous specialty safety certifications and is experienced and comfortable in all outdoor settings. He is extremely comfortable working with students and members of the general public, having previously been employed in the nature-based tourism industry as a fishing guide, commercial bear viewing guide, naturalist and certified captain. Kyle has a passion for fish and people.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

This course includes a ½ day online presentation and a one-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. 

These items can be rented at local Dive Shops or other suppliers.  Participants should contact equipment suppliers well in advance of this training program and find and secure suitable fitting equipment.