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Ontario Stream Assessment Protocol (OSAP)

This five-day course is designed to train and certify users in a variety of standardized stream assessment techniques for evaluating habitat, benthic invertebrate and fish communities in Ontario's wadeable streams.

OSAP Course

Course Description

The methods taught are documented in the OSAP Manual and are provincially recognized as standards by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNRF) and federally recognized by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The techniques require varying levels of effort and provide data with a corresponding range of precision. Like the modular OSAP manual, the training is organized into the following complementary units:

  • identifying and documenting site locations,
  • benthos sampling,
  • temperature sampling,
  • fish community sampling,
  • characterizing physical processes and in-stream structure, and
  • data management.
Students can register for the whole course or just a selection of these individual units.

Introductory (i.e. Level 1) benthos identification (OBBN) and Level 1 and Level 2 fish identification courses are offered concurrently on the weekend preceding the OSAP course, and Class 2 backpack electrofishing certification is also available.

When is it Offered?

The next course will be offered June 6 to 10, 2016 at Durham College in Oshawa.  Register here!


Who Should Attend?

This course is intended for field crews and resource managers involved in stream surveys and management. Registration preference will be given to professionals in the field who have need of using the OSAP protocol in the calendar year the course is offered.  Please be advised that registration usually fills up quickly.

OSAP Reference Materials

OSAP Manual ver. 9, edited April 2013

The Ontario Stream Assessment Protocol (OSAP) contains a series of standardized methodologies for identifying sites, evaluating benthic macroinvertebrates, fish communities, physical habitat and water temperatures in wadeable streams. The OSAP provides standardized methods that ensure data repeatability.  Use of these standard methodologies allow data to be shared, used for multiple purposes and stored in a common database.

OSAP Compendium Manual: Guidelines for Designing and Interpreting Stream Surveys in Ontario (Ver. 1.1. 2003)

The materials provided in this manual are intended to compliment the procedures described in the Ontario Stream Assessment Protocol by providing advice on study design and interpretation of results.

HabProgs Database (Ver 8. 2010) To obtain a copy for use please Contact OMNR at 613-476-8777 

HabProgs is a relational database that has been specifically developed for use with the modules described in the OSAP manual.  The use of HabProgs is encouraged, to ensure that data can be permanently archived and be available to others.  HabProgs is a MS Access application that runs on version 2000 or 2003.  

OSAP 2014 Field Forms

Ontario Stream Assessment Protocol - Training Videos

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