Large River Fish – Hazards Working in Large Rivers

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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 – Hazards Working in Large Rivers MicroCourse, spanning four hours, delivers in-depth training in an easily digestible format. It’s designed to maximize your skills for immediate application.    

Working on large rivers requires a different skill set from working on smaller waterways. This is especially true when the work is in ocean estuaries or below large dams. Dams are rapidly being constructed on major rivers worldwide, with massive impacts on aquatic life. Traditionally, dams have been constructed for hydro-power and irrigation control. With recent climate change, dam construction has accelerated for water conservation purposes. 

What are the everyday risks and effective operating procedures for people working downstream? In this course, we delve into how to conduct boat work safely despite the dangers of fires, earthquakes, and landslides. You’ll learn how to operate safely in the snow at night in a jet boat or an electrofishing boat while the flow rises and falls with ramping. We will also cover how to avoid surface and underwater hazards in the dark and in adverse daylight conditions. 

What would you do if you were stranded? This course prepares you for such scenarios, providing essential skills and knowledge to ensure your safety and effectiveness while working on big rivers. Join us to master the unique challenges of these demanding environments. 

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 worked for the Northern Pike Minnow Program on the Columbia River for 5 years, and hazed and bombed predatory sea-lions on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. 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.    

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 and indigenous entities to develop and implement site-appropriate assessments for large 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, S America and India Kathy has a particular interest in the skills it takes for big river work.  

Next Available Course

There are no upcoming courses for Large River Fish – Hazards Working in Large Rivers 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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