Technical Training

Toronto and Region Conservation 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:

Ontario Stream Assessment Protocol (OSAP): June 11 to 15, 2018

OSAP June 2016 (90) (750x500)

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 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: May 25, 2018

electrofishing, course 2016-05-27 085 (750x497)

The main emphasis of this 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.

Ontario Fish Identification Workshop: June 9 & 10, 2018

IMG_9833 (750x500)

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

Benthos Identification Workshop: June 12, 16 & 17, 2018

OSAP June 2016 (1) (750x497)

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, training and a database (which allows data to be shared among members). Toronto and Region Conservation 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.














Assessing Headwater Features Workshop: Spring 2019

culvert on agricultural land in Rouge Watershed

Course description: 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. 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 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.

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 at or originating at stream crossings, particularly those on small streams (< 2 m). Priority will be given to participants who need the training in order to undertake surveys during the 2019 field season.

About this course:  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, travel to a number of stream crossings at which there will be a demonstration of techniques, supervised application of each module, with a classroom debriefing and testing.