Technical Training

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) regrettably announces the suspension of our technical training courses, to proactively protect the participants, and all who would be in attendance, from the potential risk of contracting COVID-19. We will continue to monitor the situation and, if possible, we will resume the programs in the future.

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.

 


NEXT COURSE OFFERINGS:

CANCELLED:
Assessing Headwater Drainage Features Workshop – April 8, 2020

Students learn how to assess headwater features

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: Wednesday April 8, 2020 – 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
LOCATION: TRCA Boyd Field Centre Office
9755 Canada Company Avenue, Vaughan, ON
MAP + DIRECTIONS
PRICING: $300 + HST
WHO SHOULD ATTEND: This course is intended for field crews and resource managers who are involved in stream or headwater drainage feature survey monitoring and management. Priority will be given to participants who need the training in order to undertake surveys during the 2020 field season.


Ontario Fish Identification Workshop: Spring 2020

monitoring professional takes part in fish identification technical training workshop

The Fish ID workshop involves a series of lectures and hands-on experiences (including 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.

Two levels of training are integrated into the workshop:

  • Level 1 focuses on the identification of fish families, sport fishes and other common species (for example, differentiating Smallmouth Bass from Largemouth Bass or Brook Trout from Brown Trout), and is designed for individuals with some prior experience identifying fishes.
  • Level 2 focuses on juvenile sportfish and adult “common” minnows and darters, among others (for example, differentiating Emerald Shiner from Rosyface Shiner or Greenside Darter from Rainbow Darter), and is structured for participants with a bit more experience in fish identification.

At the end of the workshop, students will be given the option of taking a test to assess their proficiency at Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3 (Advanced). Please note: Training for Level 3 is not provided at this workshop.

The test is not mandatory. However, if students pass the test, their certification level will be entered into the OSAP database.

This course is recommended for anyone conducting aquatic sampling in Ontario where fish identifications are required.

If you’d like to be added to the waiting list for 2020, just fill out the form below:

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

Ontario Stream Assessment Protocol: Spring 2020

students take part in Ontario Stream Assessment Protocol course

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

This course is intended for field crews and resource managers who are involved in stream surveys and management.  This course is designed to train and certify users in a variety of standardized Ontario Stream Assessment Protocol (OSAP) manual techniques for evaluating habitat, invertebrate 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.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:
This is an intensive, hands-on course; it combines classroom, laboratory and field sessions, with an emphasis on quality assurance. Most units will consist of a morning lecture, travel to a stream, demonstration of techniques, supervised application of one or more modules, data entry and verification, debriefing and testing. Students should be prepared for some evening work. The training is organized into units that will provide participants with knowledge of:

  1. Reading a river and selecting site boundaries
  2. Conducting fisheries and temperature surveys
  3. A number of modules that characterize physical habitat and geomorphology

Included in the course is an opportunity to test for the Class 2 Backpack Electrofishing Certification.

Instruction for the courses is provided through a partnership between Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, the Royal Ontario Museum and TRCA.

Recognition: Participants will receive a certificate to verify the completion of their training.

GET COURSE INFORMATION

If you’d like to be added to the waiting list for 2020, just fill out the form below:

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

Benthos Identification Workshop: Spring 2020

monitoring professionals take part in benthos identification technical training

The Ontario Benthic-invertebrate 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 Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP), but certified participants represent all sectors. OBBN features standard sampling protocols, technical training, and a database (which allows data to be shared among members, and with other Ontarians).

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), together with the MECP and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), 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 2020, just fill out the form below:

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

Stream Monitoring/Research Study Design Workshop: Fall 2020

TRCA staff conduct stream monitoring research in the field

This course is recommended for biologists, ecologists, technicians, resource managers, and data managers who are involved in stream surveys, as well as those involved in making management decisions regarding streams and headwater systems.

The workshop will provide participants with an understanding of:

  • The pros and cons of using rapid-standard and detailed methods in study design
  • Limitations to common modules and how these influence study design
  • Ways to routinely summarize data and interpret results
  • Experience in accessing and extracting both raw and summarized data from within the Flowing Waters Information System and the Ontario Benthic Biomonitoring Network Database
  • The study design process applied to various projects to answer pertinent questions about trends, states, and differences between sites
  • How temporal and spatial scale and resource limitations influence study designs
  • Information about how well indicators perform at differentiating states and what analysis is available to help with determining sample size for various studies (e.g., coefficients of variation)
  • An introduction to a new approach to data/information management that offers an opportunity for discovering and utilizing large datasets that traditionally have not been readily accessible. For example, OSAP, OBBN, groundwater, weather, flow, and benthic data
  • How to determine what datasets are available, how to extract them, and how to synchronize external datasets that are both OSAP and non-OSAP compatible

Completion of an OSAP and OBBN field course is desirable, but not essential.

If you’d like to be added to the waiting list for 2020, just fill out the form below:

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

Class 2 Backpack Electrofishing Certification: NOT OFFERED IN 2020

students learn how to backpack electrofish

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.