Electrofishing Certification


Since 1994,  NRTG staff have successfully trained more than 7,000 Canadian industry practitioners in the practice of safe and effective electrofishing. NRTG personnel are highly respected and recognized leaders in the delivery of backpack electrofishing certification training. 

NRTG's 'Electrofishing Certification' course includes free, lifetime re-certification.

NRTG's Electrofishing Certification course is approved by WorksafeBC (British Columbia), and endorsed by Worksafe agencies throughout Canada.  This course is two days in duration, and includes a Day One classroom lecture and demonstration followed by a Day Two field practicum session.  During Day Two, students will participate in a realistic electrofishing field session; wearing and operating the backpack electrofishing unit while also participating as dip netters and sampling crew. Attendance is mandatory for both days.

This course offers three levels of certification: 'Crew Supervisor', 'Crew Supervisor-in-Training' and 'Crew Member'.  Each level of certification is determined by a participant's:  1) grade on the course Knowledge Evaluation 2) level of competency during the field practicum.  

Note: each NRTG Electrofishing Certification course includes our Electrofishing Recertification course.  To register for the Recertification course, simply contact us


This course exceeded my expectations. By far the most informative and engaging course I have taken. Amazing instructor and course!
— Stacy Boczulak, Ecologist, Vancouver, B.C.
One of the most fun and educational courses I have completed. Wonderful instructor! Don’t change anything!
— Dani McIntosh, Parks Canada Biologist, Banff, Alberta
Darren is awesome, learned so much....best course I’ve taken in the industry.
— Brendan Such, Biologist, Calgary, Alberta
The most enjoyable certification course I have ever taken!
— Ian Reynolds, Biologist, Victoria, B.C.
Eric was a great instructor; very knowledgeable, helpful, respectful and passionate about course content. Field component was very valuable, and brought together the whole course.
— Dylan Begin, Biologist, Cranbrook, B.C.
Excellent course with very knowledgeable instructor. Will definitely attend future NRTG courses!
— Hilary Goble, Biologist, Crossfield, Alberta
Darren was simply put the best instructor one could ask for on this topic. An informative, fun and incredibly relevant course.
— Nadin Boegelsack, Biologist, Lethbridge, Alberta
Kyle’s delivery of your Electrofishing course was absolutely top-notch. He is knowledgeable, professional, and most of all, unfailingly cheerful and patient. I believe the integrity of your program is superbly represented by this instructor.
— Scott Klassen, Biologist, Vanderhoof BC
Good balance of field vs. classroom time. I felt the length of each portion was perfect. The instructor is such an excellent teacher - clear, approachable, helpful, and encouraging. Highly recommended!
— Melanie Kuzyk, Biologist, Vancouver, B.C.
Darren’s level of experience is obvious and his professionalism as an instructor is top-notch. Amazing course.
— Michael Richard, Biologist, Burnaby, B.C.


By the end of this course, course participants will be able to:

  • Define electrofishing certification, standards and the practice of electrofishing
  • Contrast and define the levels and responsibilities of Electrofishing Certification
  • Identify mandatory and applicable Electrofishing standards and regulations
  • Manage resistance, voltage and power in an electrofishing system
  • Define and contrast electrical pulse types and electrical fields in water
  • Contrast the types of electrofishing units, and their components, features, limitations and capabilities
  • Identify mandatory and optional personal protective gear
  • Identify backpack electrofisher safety features
  • Maintain and troubleshoot backpack electrofishers and associated field gear
  • Interpret site conditions and adjust electrofishing settings to maximize catch efficiency
  • Calculate appropriate electrofisher settings
  • Identify best strategies to maximize catch efficiency while minimizing impacts
  • Manage electrofisher power appropriately and effectively
  • Identify key electrofishing safety procedures
  • Respond effectively to an electrofishing-related field incident
  • Conduct standard emergency response procedures
  • Define crew size and structure
  • Identify key factors influencing electrofishing in the field
  • Identify and determine crew roles and responsibilities
  • Conduct equipment checkout procedure(s) prior to beginning a field session  
  • Identify key fish habitats and best strategies to capture fish as a team
  • Respond appropriately to potentially dangerous scenarios
  • Communicate effectively with field crews and the general public
  • Identify types of electrofishing field programs
  • Identify and minimize fish impacts
  • Practice safe and efficient fish sampling and handling


First Aid requirements will vary by province or country. Typically, an approved Level One first aid course (containing a CPR component) is required. Please consult with the applicable Worksafe or safety regulatory agency:

Note: First aid training may be completed prior to or after this training program, and must be successfully completed prior to participating in actual electrofishing field work.

Who enrolls in this course?

This course is designed for anyone requiring electrofishing certification training in Canada and North America. Typical course participants include: environmental consultants, government, First Nations, and other industry stakeholders.

You Supply:

Course participants are required to provide their own personal protective equipment (PPE). For this course, at a minimum, participants must supply their own leak-free chestwaders.

Please note: Participants must provide and wear the following PPE prior to participating in actual electrofishing field work:

  • Non-leak chestwaders
  • Non-slip footwear (felt, cleat or aggressive rubber sole)
  • Wading belt
  • Polarized sunglasses
  • Hat with a brim

Note: NRTG will supply Lineman's gloves, electrofishing units, and all associated field equipment during this training program.

PLEASE ensure your wading equipment is free of invasives and Whirling disease. More information is found here and here.  

How do I Attend?

This course is available via our website schedule, or on contract to industry or community groups. NRTG's Electrofishing Certification course is regularly scheduled for community-based deliveries throughout the year (March to late October, providing suitable weather).  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.


NRTG's 'Electrofishing Certification' course includes free, lifetime recertification with our "Electrofishing Recertification" course.   To be eligible, prospective registrants for NRTG's 'Electrofishing Recertification' course: 

a) have previously attended an NRTG 'Electrofishing Certification' course

b) may only re-certify after every two years 

c) may only attend an NRTG 'Electrofishing Recertification' course that has met its minimum (paid) registration total (typically 10 registrants, may vary by location).

d) Please note: NRTG will limit the number of free recertification 'seats' to three for any one course delivery. 

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