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Electrofishing Certification: Theory, Safety and Application

Course Description

This two-day certification course is an overview of electrofishing theory, safety and practices. The program meets current provincial Worker's Compensation Board (WCB) requirements for electrofisher certification. 


Upon successful completion of this course, the participant will be able to:

  • Define the practice of "electrofishing"
  • Define the electrical (operational) theory of an electrofishing unit
  • Identify and operate all components of an electrofisher
  • Troubleshoot and repair common field equipment
  • Adjust electrofisher settings to capture fish effectively
  • Manage an electrofishing crew effectively and efficiently
  • Manage an electrical field in an electrofishing operation
  • Operate an electrofisher unit to reduce potential injuries to fish and other animals


Class or online: 1.0 day; Field: 0.5 day

Day one is either a classroom-based session or online, while day two is a field-based practicum in which participants are provided with an opportunity to operate the backpack electrofisher and apply the skills and knowledge they have gained in the classroom.

Note: High course enrolment (e.g., >18) may warrant additional field practicum sessions.


First aid requirements for electrofishing crews vary by province and country. In BC, all persons involved in an electrofishing operation must have an appropriate first aid course with a CPR component that is current and valid per Workers Compensation Board requirements. While it is recommended to have first aid training prior to starting the course, first aid training may be attended following completion of the Electrofishing Certification course. Please contact your province's Workers Compensation Board for further information and to confirm requirements for your region.

You Supply

Students are responsible for supplying their own personal field equipment, as follows:


  • "leak-free" chest waders: neoprene or high-quality nylon is best
  • non-slip footwear: wading shoe, cleat or aggressive rubber boot sole
  • calculator, pen and paper


  • wading belt: nylon or rubber, worn on outside of waders
  • polarized sunglasses: side shields or 'wrap around' style is best
  • hat with a visor: baseball cap style is best

The items noted as 'recommended' are optional for this training program but are mandatory during actual field work/employment. Natural Resource Extension Program (NREP) staff will provide all other necessary field and classroom-related supplies and equipment, including; course manuals, electrofisher unit(s) and accessories, dipnets, linesman gloves, and associated field equipment.

Upcoming Deliveries and Registration Information

See our program schedule for a list of all upcoming NREP course deliveries. If this course is not currently noted in the schedule, please contact NREP@viu.ca to enquire about future opportunities. Prior to registering for any NREP course, please review the program's registration guidelines, including important refund policy information.

Electrofishing Recertification

The VIU Natural Resources Extension Program offers a one-day field-based course for those who have previously attended an NREP Electrofishing Certification or Recertification course and have their approved Standard Level 1 First Aid (containing CPR component).


Field: 1 day

Participants will attend day-two of a regularly scheduled Electrofishing Certification program (see above for details), including exam. Attendance is mandatory for this one-day field practicum session and participants are required to supply their own personal field equipment, as per the full program details listed above.

Registration Information

Email NREP@viu.ca if you are interested in registering for the recertification course. Please note that a maximum of 4 seats are available for recertification per scheduled intake. Depending on course location and instructor availability, NREP may add an additional field-day. Prior to registering for any NREP course, please review the program's registration guidelines, including important refund policy information.

If you are a company seeking to recertify a group of in-house staff please email NREP@viu.ca or call 250.740.6372. We will be happy to discuss your training options.