Large River Fish – Fish Capture Techniques

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NRTG’s MicroCourses offer a dynamic training pathway that’s as flexible as it is enriching to build expertise. Our Large River Fish – Fish Capture Techniques MicroCourse, spanning four hours, delivers in-depth training in an easily digestible format. It’s designed to maximize your skills for immediate application.   

When conducting research on large rivers, various capture methods are employed to study fish populations. These methods are designed to be efficient, effective, and minimize harm to the fish. Each capture method has its advantages and limitations, and researchers often use a combination of techniques to obtain comprehensive data on fish populations in large rivers. 

The working environment—big rivers—has its own hazards, including estuaries, bars, tidal races, confluences, and canyons. The flows can be high, water levels can fluctuate aggressively, and on-water work is often near large hydro facilities, big ships, other fishermen, and marine mammals. 

Considering all these factors, this course discusses how to choose and use the right boat, including electro-fishing boats, the best engines for that boat, and how the fish are going to be caught: gill-net, seine net, trap, fish wheel, hook-and-line, tagging, and/or eDNA sampling. 

Join us to learn the essential skills and techniques needed for successful and safe fish population research in large rivers in our Large River Fish – Fish Capture Techniques MicroCourse. 

Course will be 4 hours long.  

Instructor Profile

Kathy Mai

Senior Fisheries Biologist, R.P.Bio 

Kathy Mai has worked for 30 years as a fisheries biologist in the US, Germany and Canada. She has on-the-water expertise in boat operation, netting, aquaculture, snorkeling, rafting, helicopter surveying, boat electrofishing and trap installation.  For 14 years Kathy worked for Washington and Oregon Departments of Fish and Wildlife conducting stock assessment for salmon, trout and sturgeon on the Columbia River and tributaries.  Big river work continued in Canada where Kathy conducted fisheries research above and below the dams on Columbia – just further upstream in a different country.  She has also researched and conducted fish, marine mammal and benthic sampling on various other rivers including the Fraser, the Peace, the Nechako, the Skeena, the Nass, and the Elbe, Rhine and Danube rivers in Germany and Switzerland.  

Kathy has researched endangered species in high mountain habitats, worked on fish passage issues in connection with hydro facilities, and conducted wildlife and river restoration work.  She has been employed by government agencies, indigenous entities and private companies to develop and implement site appropriate biological assessments for construction and infrastructure projects throughout the Pacific NW.  Having worked in SE Asia for several years and observed fisheries practices on big rivers in Africa, South America and India, Kathy has a particular interest in sustainable local fisheries and the many skills it takes for successful big river work.  

Next Available Course

There are no upcoming courses for Large River Fish – Fish Capture Techniques at this time, please check back again in the future or view our course schedule for more options.
For inquiries on this course, please contact NRTG at: 1-877-388-2172 or

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