Collecting Techniques

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Statement of Purpose

These links and documents contain information about best practices for collecting specimens.



Content generated during The American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (ASIH) Annual Joint Meeting - 2016, during an iDigBio sponsored workshop by the following individuals participating in the "Field to Database" Group of the aforementioned workshop: Breda Zimkus, Cesar Aguilar, Ben Frable, Meredith Mahoney, Zachary Randall, and David Wernecke.

Collection Techniques


  • Hand collection
  • Nooses, nets (for terrestrial and/or water use)
  • Traps (e.g., crawfish traps, turtle traps, basking traps, buckets, pitfalls with drift fence, funnel trap,
  • Cover boards
  • Digging, raking leaves
  • Shooting, blow guns, sling shots, rubber bands,
  • Sticky traps


  • Hand collection
  • Seines
- Kick/two person
- Beach
- Trawl
  • Cast net
  • Rod and reel
  • Dip netting
  • Gill and trammel netting
  • Trawling
  • Electrofishing
  • Chemical (Rotenone)
  • Spear and bow fishing
  • Traps (minnow, crab, hoop, etc)

Equipment Disinfection

  • Field equipment, gear, clothing (boots, waders, etc.) should/must be disinfected between field sites. This prevents movement of infectious agents or invasive plants/organism between sites by field researchers.
  • Some states require a different seine for each watershed, not reusable until it is bleached and dried, or dried completely for 48 hrs.
  • On return to home institution, keep all gear in loading dock (outside) until cleaned/disinfected before bringing into collection or storage.
- Disinfection guidelines: NEPARC; SEPARC;
- Preventing aquatic hitchhikers: