Fisheries pedagogy frequently uses outdated instructional models, even though newer approaches, such as multimodal and active instruction, may result in better educational outcomes. We discuss a variety of innovative instructional approaches for fisheries classes, including multimodal learning via music videos, student karaoke videos, and active learning via video observations of naturally behaving animals. Questionnaire responses from both undergraduate and graduate classes indicated that the various multimodal and active learning approaches generally improved students’ attitudes toward class and studying; however, their impact on learning and retention is unknown. We also explore additional aspects of student-centered learning including e-portfolios, digital storytelling, and interactive, web-linked lab notebooks. Finally, viewing fisheries education in a broad sense, we describe experiences with a web-based information platform, www.troutnut.com, that serves as a stream ecology outreach site for both the scientific community and the public.