Technical Training

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) provides Ontario Stream Assessment Protocol (OSAP) courses and other technical training opportunities to help transfer knowledge to partners and peers, and to help improve the accuracy and standardization of ecological data collected in regional watersheds.

View upcoming TRCA technical training opportunities below.

Next Course Offerings:

Stream Monitoring & Research Study Design Workshop: March 21 & 22, 201

The Ontario Stream Assessment Protocol (OSAP) is a series of standardized methodologies that evaluate a number of attributes of wadeable streams including: benthos, fish, flows, physical habitat and geomorphology, temperatures, stressors and restoration opportunities.

A core component of OSAP is to maximize linkages across methods that provide both flexibility in terms of how much effort is applied but also the ability to conduct integrated analysis.

The emphasis of the annual OSAP, OBBN and other technical training courses is based on collection techniques, not how to summarize and use the data. So, after over 20 years of data collection and certification courses, it is time to bring data collectors, managers and users together for a two-day workshop to hear about how the data is being used to answer management and scientific questions, what tools are available to assist with this and how best to ensure questions can be answered with available resources. Additional Course Information

The workshop will be hosted at the TRCA Head Office (101 Exchange Avenue) on March 21st-22nd, 2019. Cost for the workshop will be $300 plus HST and includes lunch. To ensure a place in the workshop, please register by March 15th but note that registration is limited.



Assessing Headwater Features Workshop: April 5, 2019

culvert on agricultural land in Rouge Watershed

The assessment of headwater drainage features (HDFs) is quickly becoming an integral component of natural heritage evaluation reports and ecological impact studies.

The Evaluation, Classification and Management of Headwater Drainage Features Guidelines (TRCA and CVC, 2013) outline the key pieces of information needed in order to properly assess a HDF. This course explains the guidelines and shows how modules 10 (Constrained Headwater Sampling) and 11 (Unconstrained Headwater Sampling) of the Ontario Stream Assessment Protocol (OSAP) can be applied to collect the information needed to evaluate and classify HDFs.

These modules are provincially recognized as a standard by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. They provide a standardized approach for collecting data regarding the flow, form, riparian conditions, and sediment transport and deposition characteristics of HDFs.

Participants in this technical training course will learn about and have a chance to apply the techniques used in the two OSAP modules. The course also provides guidance on how to use these modules in relation to the HDF guidelines.


  • DATE & TIME: Friday April 5, 2019 – 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
  • LOCATION: TRCA Boyd Field Centre Office, 9755 Canada Company Avenue, Vaughan, Ontario
  • PRICING: $300 + HST

This is an intensive one-day hands-on course; it combines classroom and field sessions, with emphasis on quality assurance.

There will be a morning lecture, followed by travel to a number of stream crossings at which there will be a demonstration of techniques and supervised application of each module, with a classroom debriefing and testing.

Students are expected to bring field equipment for the course as defined within each module. If equipment gaps exist, please contact the course administrator to determine sharing possibilities.


Ontario Stream Assessment Protocol (OSAP): Spring 2019

monitoring professionals take part in OSAP technical training

The OSAP course is designed to train and certify users in a variety of standardized techniques for evaluating habitat, benthic macroinvertebrate and fish communities in wadeable streams. These methods are provincially recognized as standards by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and federally recognized by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

The technical training is organized into complementary modules:

  • identifying and documenting site locations,
  • benthos sampling,
  • temperature sampling,
  • fish community sampling, and
  • characterizing physical processes and in-stream structure.

An evening lecture will present methods and safety related to backpack electrofishing; this combined with a field practicum and test will allow participants to certify to a Class 2 Backpack Certification. 



Class 2 Backpack Electrofishing Certification: Spring 2019

monitoring professionals take part in electrofishing technical training

The main emphasis of this technical training course is the safe use of backpack electroshocking units.

The topics covered will include protective equipment, safe procedures and backups or failsafes. The course will also include the fundamentals of electrical theory. There is also a practical component to the course for which participants will be required to demonstrate safe electrofishing practices in the field.

Instruction will be provided by a Class 1 Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNRF) certified instructor and meets OMNRF policy standards.

This course is intended for field crews and resource managers involved in stream surveys and management. Registration preference is given to professionals in the field who will be electrofishing in the calendar year the course is offered.

If you’d like to be added to the waiting list for 2019, just fill out the form below:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Ontario Fish Identification Workshop: Spring 2019

monitoring professional takes part in fish identification technical training workshop

The 2016 Fish ID workshop will involve a series of lectures and hands-on experience (i.e. working through preserved specimens with dichotomous keys such as those in Freshwater Fishes of Canada) designed to highlight the key identification features of Ontario’s fish families and selected species. This technical training course is recommended for anyone conducting aquatic surveys in Ontario where fish identifications are required.

If you’d like to be added to the waiting list for 2019, just fill out the form below:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Benthos Identification Workshop: Spring 2019

monitoring professionals take part in benthos identification technical training

The Ontario Benthos Biomonitoring Network (OBBN) is a multi-sector biomonitoring collaboration, in which bottom-dwelling aquatic invertebrates are used to monitor the ecological condition of lakes, streams, and wetlands.

OBBN is led by the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (OMOECC) but certified participants represent all sectors. OBBN features standard sampling protocols, technical training and a database (which allows data to be shared among members).

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), together with the OMOECC and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNRF), are offering a benthic macroinvertebrate identification workshop in association with the Ontario Stream Assessment Protocol (OSAP) training course.

If you’d like to be added to the waiting list for 2019, just fill out the form below:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.