Jul 14, 2024  
2022-23 BTC Catalog 
2022-23 BTC Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Fisheries & Aquaculture Sciences

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study


If you have a love for the great outdoors and an interest in biology and wildlife, consider earning a certificate or an associate degree in Fisheries & Aquaculture Science at Bellingham Technical College. You can prepare for a rewarding career as a fish hatchery specialist, fish culturist, fisheries technician, shellfish hatchery worker, scientific aide, water quality technician, or habitat restoration specialist. In BTC’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Science programs, you’ll learn top skills such as fish culture, aquaculture, and fish spawning that will position you for the best aquatic science jobs in the fisheries industry. The Fisheries & Aquaculture hands-on classes take place in the classroom as well as at the Whatcom Creek Hatchery at the Maritime Heritage Park in Bellingham, which is operated by Bellingham Technical College’s Fisheries & Aquaculture Science program. If you are interested in a tour of the Perry Center, please sign up at www.btc.edu/fisheriestour. If you are unable to attend any of the scheduled tours, please contact the Admissions department at admissions@btc.edu to schedule a separate tour.

Program Outcomes

After successfully completing the AAS or AAS-T degree, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate competency in hatchery methods and apply appropriate techniques to spawn, incubate, rear, and release fish.
  • Utilize proper tools, equipment and protective devices to safeguard against injury to self, others and workplace facilities.
  • Act responsibly and ethically as an employee by being punctual, adhering to company policies and interacting positively and appropriately with co-workers and supervisors.
  • Receive, interpret, and convey written, verbal, and graphic information to communicate effectively with co-workers, management and the general public.
  • Compute, calculate, and convert standard and metric measurements for purposes of disease treatment and prevention, and the rearing of fish.
  • Observe and comply with environmental laws and regulations related to the rearing of fish and the use and disposal of chemicals and drugs.
  • Use current and emerging computerized systems or software to operate equipment, calculate results, keep records, and enter data on proper forms and records.
  • Identify industry workshops, conferences, and research, to stay current with new and emerging equipment and techniques

After successfully completing the Aquaculture Science Certificate, students will be able to:

  • Analyze aquaculture-related water quality issues and create appropriate maintenance and treatment plans for flow-through and recirculating systems.  
  • Describe common aquatic lifecycles and modern culturing techniques for optimal hatchery production, including proper health, feeding, and spawning.
  • Communicate information in a professional setting for career success in the aquaculture industry.

After successfully completing the Fisheries and Aquaculture Techniques certificate, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate competency in hatchery methods and apply appropriate techniques to spawn, incubate, rear, and release fish.
  • Demonstrate competency in shellfish hatchery and aquaculture methods and apply appropriate techniques to raise diatoms, spawn shellfish, set seed, plant seed, culture, and harvest shellfish.
  • Demonstrate competency in Habitat Restoration methods and apply techniques to improve and restore habitat, plant native vegetation, eliminate invasive species, and add woody debris and gravel to streams.
  • Demonstrate competency in field research, stream surveys, tag studies, spawning assessments, and smolt trap projects.

Placement Requirements

Admissions application and assessment in Reading, Math, and Writing is required. Your placement will determine where you begin your course sequence. Contact Admissions at 360.752.8345 or at admissions@btc.edu for assistance with academic planning.

Degree and Certificate Requirements

Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences AAS and AAS-T Degree completion requires a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher, a minimum grade of C-/1.7 for all core and elective courses, and a minimum grade of C/2.0 for all General Education courses. Certificate completion requires a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher and a minimum grade of C-/1.7 for all core courses.


    Associate of Applied Science
    Associate of Applied Science - Transfer

    Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study