Fisheries Field Skills Certificate (FFS) Program


The Fisheries Field Skills (FFS) program is a field-based fisheries field skills training course.  The FFS is delivered as a scheduled course delivery, or as a contract to organizations and groups. 

The 80-hour (two-week) FFS is almost entirely field-based, and focuses on training individuals in a series of key field skills required to be qualified to conduct fish and fish habitat field procedures, projects and fieldwork.  The field training simulates realistic scenarios, where course participants learn how to perform technical skills and procedures under the direction of experienced instructors and practitioners.

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

The FFS provides participants with skills and knowledge in WorksafeBC-approved backpack electrofishing certification, fish identification, fisheries field techniques, fish and fish habitat inventory and assessment, stream invertebrate sampling, streambank restoration, and water quality sampling and monitoring techniques. FFS ‘graduates’ are trained to conduct fish and fish habitat assessment, inventory and restoration projects, as well as other fisheries-related field work.

We are also pleased to announce that our Fisheries Field Skills (FFS) Certificate program is now accredited by BC’s College of Applied Biology (CAB). CAB will recognize graduates of the FFS program as meeting the core academic requirements for entry as an Applied Biology Technician.

An ‘Applied Biology Technician’ designation qualifies an individual as a B.C. provincially-recognized and certified technician and helps to expand their industry credibility.

Contact NRTG for further details.



FFS graduates are qualified to perform fish and fish habitat inventory and assessments directly or as an Assistant to professional biologists, hydrologists, experienced technicians and other fisheries professionals. 

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

  • Conduct standard fish and fish habitat inventory and assessment procedures

  • Conduct backpack electrofishing surveys

  • Perform water quality sampling procedures

  • Conduct fisheries field hydrology procedures

  • Conduct advanced fish habitat and fish population assessments

  • Conduct biological sampling methods and design a biological sampling program

  • Conduct fish inventory & capture procedures

  • Design and conduct a stream invertebrate sampling program

  • Construct and install streambank restoration techniques and structures

  • Isolate an instream construction project and conduct a fish salvage

Course format: 

The 80-hour (two-week) Fisheries Field Skills Program is delivered over weekdays over two consecutive weeks. The FFS delivery ‘season’ will vary by region, as the program requires suitable field conditions (unfrozen stream water, and suitable water temperatures and flow levels, etc.).

Course Customization:

This course can also be customized for an organization and/or community based on their needs.  In its standard format, this course is comprised of three, one-week modules:  

Week 1:  Essential skills; Mapping, Orientation, Navigation, Compassing/GPS, Data Collection, Water Quality Monitoring, Stream Hydrology. 

Week 2:  Fish & Fish Habitat Inventory/Assessment,  Aquatic Insect Inventory, Streambank Restoration, Fish Passage Methods, Electrofishing Certification 

Each Weekly Module can be delivered independently or combined with another NRTG training program. For instance, this course could be delivered as a one week course along with our Fish Habitat Restoration courses or RISC Archaeology & CMT Training for Crew Members or Cultural Resource Monitor, or any other NRTG training program. 

Please contact us with your ideas and needs, and we'll work with you to design and deliver a specialized training program that meets your needs. 

Potential Students: 

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


None.  A standard one to two-day First Aid course is required as a co-requisite to the Electrofishing Certification training. 

Personal Equipment Requirements:

Course participants are required to provide their own personal protective equipment:  chestwaders (with no leaks), wading belt, non-slip footwear, polarized glasses, and a hat with a brim (e.g., ball cap). 

Course Fees:

Course fees will vary by course delivery location.  For further information, please contact us.

How do I Attend?

The FFS is available via our website schedule, or on contract to community groups. The FFS is regularly scheduled for community-based deliveries throughout the year (providing suitable weather).  Interested groups or organizations can also arrange for an ‘in-house’ or contract delivery of the FFS.  In either scenario, contact NRTG for further information.

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

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