Rocket-Net New User Training Course


Target Audience:  

Required course for any Service personnel performing rocket-netting operations. This course is a safety requirement for all FWS rocket-netters. Audience also includes USGS employees, any interagency partners, and other collaborating rocket-netters. 

Summary and Objectives: 

Rocket-netting is a technique widely used to live-capture large numbers of birds and other wildlife and is commonly employed in banding studies of waterfowl, shorebirds and wading birds. Because rocket-nets use explosives to launch the netting over the animals it poses unique safety challenges. This safety training covers the planning and use of explosives to propel rocket-nets. Classroom training includes Fish and Wildlife Service policy for storage, transportation and handling of explosives; FWS policy for rocket-netting; and training in the proper methods for safely deploying rocket-net equipment. 

This is an instructor-led hands-on training course that includes classroom training and a written test, covering the use, storage and transportation of explosives and rocket-net materials; and a practical field exercise which includes a live, hands-on test of the student’s proficiency in safely deploying a rocket-net.

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize the inherent safety risks in rocket-netting birds and other wildlife.
  • Review the FWS policies that govern the safe use of explosives and of rocket-netting.
  • Discuss the safe use, storage and transportation of explosives and of rocket-netting materials.
  • Discuss FWS operation procedures to safely and effectively deploy rocket-nets to live-capture wildlife.
  • Safely and effectively deploy rocket-nets to live-capture wildlife.


The course is one of the prerequisites for achieving rocket-netting authorization and is required for any FWS Service personnel performing rocket-netting operations. The course is also available for U.S. Geological Survey employees, interagency partners, and collaborators. 

Service employees must be authorized by their supervisor to use explosives for rocket-netting. You must successfully complete and maintain the rocket-netting authorization requirements, which include taking this course (SAF-NO1), as described in Section 3.5C Service policy 244 FWS 3, Rocket-Netting. 

You must also obtain CPR and First Aid training by a recognized certification program such as the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, National Safety Council or others. Every Service rocket-netter user must be re-authorized every 4 years, with a Rocket-Net Refresher Course (SAF-NO2) completed within the 4-year authorization period, along with maintaining current CPR and First Aid certifications.

How to Register: 

The program does not have set schedules for Rocket-Net Field Training. Contact FWS National Rocket-Net Coordinator (Coordinator Contact TBD) to learn about the next Rocket-Net Field Training session scheduled in your region.

Course Short Name

Questions and Registration