2023 Ontario Fish Identification Workshops

If you are a fisheries biologist or a student registered in a fisheries biology program, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), Department of Natural History, provides an opportunity to improve your fish identification skills. The workshops are designed primarily for professionals, technicians, field biologists, and environmental consultants, but other interested individuals - including university and college students - are welcome. Workshops will be offered in April and May, 2023, at the University of Guelph Science Complex.

  • Introductory Workshop:  April 18-20, 9am-5pm
  • *4-day Introductory Workshop: April 18-21, 9am-5pm (includes a day in the field)
  • Introductory Workshop: May 1-3, 9am-5pm
  • Species at Risk Workshop: May 4-5, 9am-5pm
  • Minnows Workshop: April 25-27, 9am-5pm

Introductory Workshop

Presentations and hands-on exercises will familiarize you with the characteristics that are used in distinguishing Ontario’s families, genera, and species of fishes. Exercises will develop your skills of counting, measuring, and examining the pertinent anatomical structures that are necessary to use identification keys. Experienced ROM staff will be available to assist you with exercises, provide advice, and access the specimens housed in the reference collection.

Species-at-Risk Workshop

This workshop will focus on the identification of Ontario fishes classified as Endangered, Threatened or Special Concern. Groups covered include gars, whitefishes, minnows, suckers, madtoms, darters, and sunfishes. Emphasis will be placed on how to assess the distinguishing characteristics and comparison with similar species. Presentations will include information on habitat. Completion of the introductory workshop is required for participation in this workshop. 

Minnow Workshop

This workshop will focus exclusively on Ontario’s carp and minnow fauna primarily through guided hands-on exercises and presentations. Preserved specimens of both adult and juvenile carps and minnows of all Ontario’s 42 species are available so you can compare closely related species and practice keying out species both individually and as a group. There will be an introductory presentation that will focus on anatomical features used to identify minnows, but it is highly recommended that you take the introductory workshop before taking this workshop.

Full Workshop Description (.pdf)

Registration Form (.docx)