Ministry of Environment

Fish Data Submission – Data Requirements:

Mandatory Data Standards

Note: These are the minimum data requirements accepted. To provide value to users of the corporate data, it is encouraged to provide as much information as possible within the standard reporting formats (Excelt Template, FDIS).

Updated May, 2016

The Miandatory Data Requirements falls into broad categories of information:


Referencing Information (Step 1)

  • Project Title - Name of project or report.
  • Company/Agency: The name of the company or agency submitting the spreadsheet
  • Spreadsheet Recorder(s) - The Names of the person(s) completing the spreadsheet for reference purposes if contact is required
  • Fish Data Submission Project Type - The reason for the data collection. Options are: Environmental Impact Assessment, Fish Salvage, Forestry Stream Classification, Inventory (General), Research, Reconnaissance 1: 20 000 Fish and Fish Habitat Inventory, Overview (1: 50 000) Fish and Fish Habitat Inventory and Other Project Type (if other is chosen, please describe in "Other Project Type")
  • Provincial Permit Number - The 'Scientific Fish Collection Permit' number on the issued permit.
  • DFO Permit Number - The Fisheries and Oceans Canada permit number (if applicable).
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Professional Biologist Sign-off (Step 1):


  • Indication of Professional Sign-off - A Yes or No answer is required to indicate whether the data has been signed-off by a registered professional biologist. It is not a requirement to select Yes.
  • Biologist's Name - If Yes indicated above, provide the name of the biologist.
  • Registration Number - If yes indicated above, provide the registration number of the biologist.
  • Province or State of Registration - If Yes indicated above, provide the province of registration of the biologist.
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Locational Information (Step 1)

Required for each site:

  • Gazetted Name – Official name of the lake, stream or wetland as found here. If the waterbody is not gazetted, record 'unnamed'. (link to standards)
  • Alias or Local Name – (Required if known) An unofficial or locally used name for the lake, stream or wetland. (link to standards)
  • Waterbody Type – Type of waterbody of either stream, lake, wetland, canal, or reservoir.
  • Waterbody (ID) Identifier – An alpha-numeric, nine character string that uniquely identifies a waterbody within a watershed. For lakes and wetlands it consists of five digits followed by a four-letter acronym of the parent watershed group. In the case of streams; use 5 zeros in the numeric portion of the ID. You can find the Waterbody Identifier for lakes and wetlands here.
  • Watershed Code – (Required if Watershed Code Exists) Refers to the "45 digit watershed code". You can find 45 digit watershed codes here. (link to standards)
  • Site Number – The site number is a unique number (up to three digits) assigned to all sites within a project. (link to standards) Each unique site UTM must have a different site number.
  • Survey Date – This is the date when the survey took place at the site. Do not use a blanket range of dates that spans the entire sampling for the project or study. Proper recorded format is YYYY/MM/DD.
  • Location Coordinate – Must provide a UTM coordinate representing each sample site. UTM coordinate must include the UTM zone number; an Easting value of six significant digits, and a Northing value of seven significant digits (1 metre precision, NAD 83). UTM methods include aerialphoto, GPS, GIS (eg. ArcGIS, Google Earth, GoogleMaps, Habitat Wizard), Hardcopy Map Interpretation. UTM's are taken at the downstream end of the site.

Channel Status (Step 1)


    • No Visible Channel - Required if providing No-Visible Channel locational information in Step 1.
    • Dewatered-Dry/Intermittent Channel - Required if providing Dewatered or Dry/Intermittent channel locational information in Step 1 (it is recommended that Dewatered-Dry/Intermittent channel locational information is provided in Step 1).

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Sampling Information

Fish Collection Data (Step 2) - Required for each site:

  • Sampling Method – List the sampling techiques used at the site. If electrofishing was used, it is suggested that you also provide temperature and conductivity measurements of the water at each site, since the effectiveness of electrofishing is closely related to these parameters.
  • Sampling 'Effort' – If electrofishing is conducted, this would be number of Electrofishing (EF) Seconds and the Length and Width of the site sampled. For net/trap techniques, this would be the Gill Net Type (if used), Net/Trap Length (not apply to minnow traps), Net/Trap Depth, Set (waterbody zone), and Soak Time. For angling, this would be angler hours (Soak Time).
  • Fish Summary - Species, Stage, and Total Number - For each application of a techique at a site, the Species caught and the Total Number caught, should be broken out by Stage.


Additionally Preferred (but optional):

  • Sampling Information – Method Number and Haul#/Pass#. It is preferred that a Method Number, and Haul#/Pass# be provided for each electofishing pass and net/trap haul.
  • Date In, Time In, Date Out, Time Out - It is preferred that this is collected for each net/trap haul.

Individual Fish Data (Step 3) - Optional. Requirements if completing:

  • Fish Sampling Data – Species - If providing individual fish information, id of Species is required.

Stream Site Data (Step 4) - Optional. Preferred requirements if completing:

  • Features - If providing must also provide: Type, Height, Length, Height/Length Method, UTM (Zone, Easting, Northing, Method), Comments regarding potential to be a fish obstacle.
  • Forestry Stream Classification specific information – If your project was a Forestry Stream Classification Project, it is preferred but not required that you provide the following information:
    • Channel information - Channel Width and Method - The individual channel widths measured at the site, and the method used. Do not give the average (link to standards).
    • Channel information - Gradient and Method – The individual gradients measured at the site, and the method used. Do not give the average (link to standards).

If you have questions about the minimum standards and formats, please send an email to