Methods Review

Project Description

One of PNAMP's objectives is to understand Partners' needs with respect to monitoring methodology and facilitate collaboration, coordination, discussion, and evaluation of implementation of monitoring methodology. If you've had the chance to browse through the list of methods on, you may have noticed that measurements may be collected using different methods. Methods may be different because of different study objectives, locations, equipment used, or differing opinions of practitioners about what is the best practice. For collaborative projects or programs that share data, it can be difficult to appropriately combine datasets if there is a lack of understanding of the details of the methods used to collect the data.

With the development of the Monitoring Methods/Community Forum tool, we hope to start to provide more consistency in documentation and therefore a better understanding between practitioners about what everyone is doing. Further, we anticipate discussions on the community forum about implementation of monitoring methods, study design details, etc. It is expected that these discussions will help point out agreements and inconsistencies related to methods, but may not always have a clear resolution. With the Methods Review effort, we will use the community forum discussions, as well as previous PNAMP discussions, as a basis to plan for technical workshops focused on discussing the current state of affairs for a particular protocol or method, inconsistencies and disagreements, and how to move forward. All discussions and final outcomes, whether it be agreement to use a particular method or agreement that different methods are necessary, will be documented and available online for future reference.

For more information about PNAMP activities on this topic, click on "Events", "Documents" and "Key Documents" in the bottom right corner of this page.

Project Team

Project teams for each workshop will be formed based on subject matter expertise. It is expected that their contributions will be in-kind. If you are interested in a particular topic, email


Electrofishing Method Templates Ready for Use

September 24, 2015 - 3:40pm

For the last few months, PNAMP has been working with electofishing experts, James Reynolds, Jan Dean and Alan Temple to develop electrofishing templates that contain questions and multiple choice providing a framework for consistent documentation of information. Because of the complexity of electrofishing regulations we thought outside the box and created a template that is in Monitoring Methods as a method, and users will customize the method with the answers to the questions.

Do you electrofish? Check out these templates with what information three electrofishing experts say is important to document.

Download the combined templates here. Or customize the Monitoring Methods below.

You can print it and bring it in the field, and then input your information as a customization in Monitoring Methods. A special thank you to our electrofishing experts for creating this template.

Come join the discussion about PNAMP's backpack electrofishing method template

May 22, 2015 - 1:18pm

PNAMP staff and dedicated experts (James Reynolds( Professor Emeritus University of Alaska Fairbanks),Jan Dean (USFWS) and Alan Temple (USFWS)) have been working on a way to standardize what is documented in an electrofishing method. They have created a backpack electrofishing template that they hope includes all the necessary information and that users will be able to customize within Monitoring Methods.

The discussion of this template will take place on February 12th, 2015 from 9-11 AM PST via webinar.

Teleconference: DOI locations: 703.648.4848
Non-DOI locations: 855.547.8255

Are you interested in participating in the electrofishing method review that PNAMP will be facilitating? Did you see Patrick Cooney’s talk at the Quebec City AFS?

August 27, 2014 - 9:12am

Patrick Cooney of Smith-Root approached PNAMP to collaborate on his 2014 Quebec City AFS meeting talk entitled “Electrofishing in Practice: Variations in Regional, National, and Continental Approaches”. We discussed the apparent and real discrepancies that there are within electrofishing methods. PNAMP added to the conversation by looking within the Monitoring Methods library for documented electrofishing methods. The complete list of the documented electrofishing methods contained 31 “different” methods, 13 of those in the category of backpack electrofishing and eight within the boat electrofishing category.

Working with Patrick and investigating the methods within the Method Library has spurred PNAMP to initiate the method review process for electrofishing. This process hopes to create more robust and generic methods within the method library that multiple protocols can use. To read more on the Method Review Process see:

This fall, PNAMP will take the first steps to identify documented methods, perform a basic review of the method and prepare a short summary of the basic review findings. PNAMP will facilitate an online discussion with interested parties to review methods, make suggestions, and come to a consensus on documentation. In order for this processes to work we need broad participation from the community. If you are interested in participation in electrofishing method review please contact Becca Scully at or Katie Pierson at

In case you missed it, here is a synopsis of Patrick's talk:
Electrofishing has a rich history, starting with a patent issued in London, England to Isham Baggs in 1863 for an “apparatus for paralysing, capturing or killing fish, birds and other animals.” While the application of an electrical field in water was originally utilized for personal exploitation of fisheries resources, including the capture of large sharks and tuna, most developed countries have shifted to only permit the use of electrofishing equipment for scientific endeavors. Subsequently, electrofishing equipment has experienced significant advances, specifically to address concerns about the potential for injury to both the users and the study organism. Alternating Current (AC) is efficient at capturing fish, but raises concern for its higher rate of injury, whereas Direct Current (DC) is less efficient at capturing fish, but also provides less concern for injury. Alternatively, Pulsed Direct Current (PDC), where DC is pulsed at a user designated rate and duration, is seen as a valuable compromise of efficiency and risk aversion. However, understanding the necessary frequency, pulse width, voltage, and current of the PDC, as opposed to much simpler controls on older electrofishing models, requires specialized training and proper protocols to make sure that study organisms and personnel stay safe while study objectives are being met. Many electrofishing protocols and training opportunities exist to aid researchers, however, training is underutilized and there is very little discussion or conversation between agencies to ensure that electrofishing protocols and training courses meet the needs of researchers or are actually being used. Evidence of improper use of electrofishing equipment is highly apparent in online materials, and reporting of electrofishing methods in scientific journals is significantly lacking in detail and understanding.

Perhaps a conversation should be held between electrofishing groups (agencies, universities, private industry, manufacturers, etc.) to discuss adequate training and develop protocols that will be properly utilized. The Pacific Northwest Aquatic Monitoring Partnership (PNAMP) is a leader in compiling information to facilitate this conversation. allows researchers to document and share their methods and protocols in a database for others to read and reference. With this collective database, a proper discussion can be facilitated to streamline methods and interoperability between user groups while further ensuring training for personnel and organism safety to preserve the long term viability of electrofishing as a valuable tool in the field of fisheries conservation.

Large Wood Methods Review Workshop at Oregon AFS

March 18, 2013 - 5:11pm

PNAMP staff recently hosted a Methods Review workshop at Oregon AFS to ask participants to engage in an investigation of how monitoring practitioners use different large wood data collection methods to generate the same metric, determine if the different methods are really describing the same methodology, and discuss data sharing and best practices. Realizing that all who are interested in this topic would not be at the Oregon AFS workshop, we planned to document the discussion on the Monitoring Methods Discussion Board and ask for additional feedback. Follow this link to the discussion board to join the conversation.

For full context, see

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