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Fish Biologist 2

State of Washington

Clarkston ,  Washington

The Department of Fish and Wildlife has some of the most talented people in the natural resource field. We celebrate and value diversity, appreciating that a workforce composed of those from different backgrounds and experiences creates an inclusive environment, strengthens positive relationships with the local community, and brings new perspectives and approaches to fulfilling the agency's mission.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is dedicated to preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish, wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable recreational and commercial opportunities dependent on viable fish and wildlife populations. Each day, WDFW employees facilitate fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities for millions of residents and visitors. WDFW's employees–field and laboratory biologists, geneticists, research scientists, hatchery professionals, policy experts, fully commissioned law enforcement officers, land stewards, lab technicians, property acquisition specialists, customer service representatives and others work throughout the state. WDFW employees protect and restore critical habitat, strive to facilitate species recovery when necessary, and manage hundreds of fish and wildlife species. WDFW employees maintain nearly a million acres of public wildlife lands. They interpret, apply and enforce state and federal laws and collaborate with stakeholders to protect fish and wildlife resources. Find out more about us and the important work we are a part of at

This is for a permanent full-time Biologist 2 position in the Fish Program, Fish Science – Salmon Recovery. The duty station is located at 1049 Port Way, Clarkston, WA.

The primary purpose of this position is to implement and supervise the research, monitoring and evaluation (RM&E) activities necessary to determine the abundance, productivity, survival rates, and information on temporal and spatial distribution of Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed adult and juvenile anadromous salmonids in the Asotin Creek subbasin. Under general direction, this position will identify new research needs and apply best scientific principles to design, conduct and analyze research, provide an interpretation of the results and prepare contract reports, oral presentations, or producing peer reviewed articles in professional journals from such findings. Population data for summer steelhead collected under this project will be used to refine fish return and management goals, assist in the establishment of numeric fish population goals outlined in the Asotin Creek Subbasin Plan, and to help WDFW meet its obligations under the ESA. As the lead fish biologist in the Asotin Creek basin, this position will prepare and interpret resource information, which will be shared within the fish program in SE Washington, but will also include coordination with other programs within WDFW (habitat, lands, enforcement), and will also extend to other fish and wildlife agencies and regional salmon recovery boards.

This position is necessary for Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) involvement in regional Columbia Basin Monitoring and Evaluation efforts as part of the BPA/Northwest Power and Conservation Council provincial review process, and has been identified as a priority RM&E activity in the 2009 Federal Columbia River Power System Biological Opinions (BiOp) RM&E review. Funding for the project is entirely through multiple contracts with outside agencies (i.e., BPA, RCO, SRSRB, etc.). Therefore, it is necessary for this position to develop funding proposals for submittal to a variety of funding agencies to ensure continuation of the project, as needed. This position will occasionally seek funding to expand research activities under this project for collection of biological data throughout the Asotin Creek summer steelhead population area in order to meet BiOp and state management /conservation requirements.
This position supports the mission of the organization by providing data on ESA-listed anadromous samonids in the Asotin Creek summer steelhead population, and helps ensure healthy and diverse native fish populations are preserved, protected and perpetuated.


Serves as the Project Leader Biologist for the Asotin Creek research project. Responsibilities include the development and execution of the study design, field data collection and analysis, reporting and permitting.

  • Wild steelhead stock escapement,assessment and life history investigation;
  • Develops and implements work plans;
  • Negotiates permit limits with outside agencies;
  • Analyzes data using appropriate analytical methods.

Communicate results of scientific studies and project accomplishments, Identifies and recommends action(s) to Fish Management based on monitoring/research findings.

  • Writes Annual Reports to Bonneville Power Administration Fish and Wildlife Program; publishes scientific papers in scientific journals;
  • Gives presentations to constituent groups and funding agencies;
  • Submit ESA-related 4(d) Research Applications and Take Reports;
  • Write clearly and concisely: Provide succinct summaries capturing research results, key ideas, and recommendations.

Supervision and Mentoring of technical staff

  • Supervises and mentors technical and professional level staff in order to support an effective and motivated team;
  • Sets goals and objectives, develops strategies to implement, and develops performance measurements and standards for the purpose of ensuring individual and program performance objectives are met;
  • Monitors and inspects work in progress to ensure continuity and timely completion of work;
  • Develops the Performance Development Plan (PDP for each assigned employee within unit: creates or updates position descriptions; monitors and documents employee performance; provides on-going feedback regarding levels of performance, and conducts timely and meaningful employee performance evaluations;
  • Manages personnel issues relating to staff conflicts, absenteeism, performance issues, etc... in a positive manner for the purpose of ensuring the efficient and effective functioning of the work unit;
  • Develops and implements staff training and development plants to provide cross training of employees, specific job related training and other approaches to provide opportunities for staff flexibility and development;
  • Participates in team meetings, communicates status of ongoing projects and/or job tasks, and coordinates work schedule with team for the purpose of maintaining open communication;
  • Responsible for planning and maintaining work systems, procedures, and policies that enable and encourage the optimum.

Identifies and recommends actions to applicable fish program managers

  • Identifies key scientific uncertainties associated with science, and recommends possible projects to Supervisor, local District Biologist(s) within Fish Management and Science Program.

Working Conditions
The employee will generally be scheduled for a 40-hour Monday-Friday workweek to meet supervisory requirements of the Scientific Technicians. Some variations in the basic work schedule will occur during peak field season activities (spring and fall) when 7-day a week adult and juvenile trapping operations are underway, including night and weekend shift work. This may result in work to be performed in excess of 40 hours per week. Travel is expected to attend meetings related to funding, training and professional development conferences.

Some private landowner contacts are required to complete surveys, and to secure sites for Adult Traps, Smolt Traps, and PIT Arrays. General interaction with public is limited. Safety hazards in the field include slippery conditions, extreme hot and cold temperatures, and potential injury from biting insects or snakes. Working knowledge of safe welding and fabrication tools, PIT Tag Arrays and PIT Tag scanning equipment, Coded Wire tag detectors, electronic data capture equipment (laptops, tablets, data loggers), general tools for installation of adult traps, smolt traps, PIT Arrays, etc.

This position is covered by a collective bargaining agreement between the State of Washington, Department of Fish & Wildlife, and the Washington Association of Fish and Wildlife Professionals (WAFWP). As a condition of employment you must either join the union and pay union dues, or pay the union a representational or other fee within 30 days of the date you are put into pay status.

A Bachelor's degree in fisheries, wildlife management, natural resource science, or environmental science AND one year of professional experience in fish management or fish research, wildlife management or wildlife research, or habitat management or habitat research.
Equivalent education/experience

Preferred/Desired Education, Training, Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Demonstrated leadership, team-building, and supervisory skills;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills;
  • Ability to work independently to proactively solve problems and make critical decisions in a fast-paced environment;
  • Computer and data processing skills using MS Access, MS Excel, and MS Word;
  • Knowledge of: methods and design of biological data collection programs and interpretation and presentation of data; development of cooperative relationships; and ocean recreational and commercial salmon fisheries.

Job Knowledge

1) Experience in the operation of resistance board floating weirs AND the use of alternate materials and designs. It is desirable to have additional experience developing novel methodologies for in-stream biological and behavioral studies for both juvenile AND adult salmonids.
2) Create, maintain, and improve data collection forms and computer databases (e.g., MS Access) to maintain accurate records of sampling data.
2) Develop hypotheses, plan procedures and protocols for testing assumptions and validating methodologies, determine staff needs, write research proposals, and implement research studies.
3) Think conceptually, analyze data using appropriate statistical procedures, identify key relationships, observe and interpret trends, in order to advance the sound scientific understanding of productivity metrics of summer-run steelhead.
4) Interact with funding agencies in a professional manner by understanding underlying issues, and conveying them appropriately to ensure that important issues are clearly understood, both verbally and in writing.
5) Knowledge of inland anadromous salmonid life histories.
6) Conduct and supervise population studies on anadromous salmonids to monitor and evaluate the productivity and survival of adult and juvenile steelhead trout and Chinook salmon, and relate those estimates to ESA recovery goals in the Columbia Basin.
7) Experience conducting natural production monitoring including; spawning ground surveys, smolt monitoring with rotary screw (smolt) traps, tagging and marking techniques (including the use of PIT tags and Floy tags), and calculating production estimates.
8) Be able to interpret and complete Environmental Compliance and ESA permit applications.
9) Communicate findings using clear scientific writing and editing.
10) Author Annual Reports, according to strict deadlines spelled out in contract requirements with various funding agencies.
11) weir fabrication, operation, installation and maintenance,
12) welding, both aluminum and steel, for trap repairs and fabrication.
13) rotary screw trap operation, installation and maintenance,

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