Snorkel Survey Techniques

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Format: Online and field training


Snorkel surveying is a valuable tool for studying fish populations and assessing habitat use, fish abundance, and run timing.  The Snorkel Survey Techniques (SST) course is a ½ day lecture-based review of standard snorkel survey equipment and methods with the option to add an applied field day where course participants will conduct several applied exercises to learn first-hand how to plan, prepare and conduct a safe and efficient snorkel survey. Field training sessions typically take place in a dynamic BC Coastal river where course participants will learn to conduct snorkel surveys for adult spawning fish and resident juvenile fish. If you are outside our geographically area, please contact us to arrange a custom location delivery.

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


Upon successful completion, SST course theory 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
  • Collect and manage snorkel survey field data
  • Select appropriate snorkel equipment including suites, gloves snorkels, masks, footwear, gloves and accessory support equipment (emphasis on winter and cold-water applications)

Upon successful completion of the field session, SST course theory participants will be qualified and able to: 

  • Apply the theory as well as Implement snorkel survey and river safety protocols

Course format

The Snorkel Survey Techniques course is a ½ day classroom -based review of snorkel surveying equipment and methods. An additional day can be scheduled to complete a field-based practical session. In the field course participants will apply the theory and conduct snorkel surveys and implement a snorkel survey plan.

The Snorkel Survey Techniques (SST) course is regularly scheduled for deliveries throughout western Canada with the theory classroom-based session being completed remotely. The field sessions can either be coordinated to be completed in our back yard (Vancouver Island) or worldwide! Let us know where you would like the training brought and we will work with you to ensure we plan a field session that will accommodate your local flow conditions including: (unfrozen stream water, and suitable water temperatures and flow level etc.). 

Potential Students 

Course participants typically include; current fisheries field technicians and biologists, Aboriginal stakeholders, and technicians working in other sectors.



Personal Field Equipment Requirements

Please note the classroom-based theory session will include a comprehensive equipment overview as it is an essential part of completing a successful field survey. The theory session can be scheduled well in advance of field sessions allowing for adequate time for course participants to source required equipment (wet or dry suit, mask, footwear, and gloves). 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.

Course Fees

The ½ day fully online theory only session tuition is $200 per participant. For the field-based training session course fees will vary by course delivery location.  For further information, please contact us.

How do I Attend?

The SST course is available via our website schedule, or on contract to community groups. Interested groups or organizations can also arrange for an ‘in-house’ or contract delivery of this program.  In either scenario, contact NRTG for further information.

If you would like to have the SST course delivered to your group or community, please contact us.

Instructor Profile

Kyle Milburn, BSc., Fisheries Biologist

Kyle Milburn has 15 years experience conducting fisheries and hydrometric studies in British Columbia. Since 2008, Kyle has worked with 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.

Next Available Course

There are no upcoming courses for Snorkel Survey 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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