Commercial Fishery Observer - Sci Tech 2 - Part-Time/On-Call - Non-Perm - 8 Openings - *07085-24

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Ocean Park, Washington

Job Type Temporary
Salary Details $19.40 - $25.84 Hourly
Deadline Jul 28, 2024


Fish Program

This recruitment will be posted until July 28, 2024 – first review of applications will take place on June 24, 2024.  Application review is ongoing, please submit your application materials as soon as possible. This recruitment may be closed at any time.

Multiple locations in Western Washington and a variety of appointment lengths – apply for one (1) or all the positions listed below by submitting one (1) application!


Ocean Park, Washington – Pacific County

Two (2) Positions – Anticipated Appointment Length: 2.5 months - August 12, 2024 – October 31, 2024 

One (1) Position – Anticipated Appointment Length: 3 months - August 12, 2024 – November 15, 2024  

Montesano, Washington – Grays Harbor County 

Three (3) Positions – Anticipated Appointment Length: 2 months - September 9, 2024 – October 31, 2024

Two (2) Positions – Anticipated Appointment Length: 2 months September 9, 2024 – November 15, 2024 

Are you interested in being onboard commercial fishing vessels and collecting data valuable for in-season fishery management?

Join the commercial fishing vessel crew and conduct a variety of onboard sampling, sample processing, and work with data.

Picture yourself, 

Collecting data that may be used to estimate catch, effort, species origin, age, stock composition, and encounter rates of Chinook and coho salmon.

The optimal applicants, 

Will have the ability to quickly, accurately, and legibly collect and record data with attention to detail. 

We are seeking a candidate, 

Who models WDFW values: Accountability, Service, Professionalism, Integrity, Respect, and Empathy (ASPIRE)


Here is what you will be doing, 

Commercial salmon fisheries monitoring within Willapa Bay and/or Grays Harbor basins: 

  • Commercial on-board monitoring duties may include boarding commercial vessels for 12-hour daylight fishery openers, documenting gillnet soak times, mesh size, and compliance with recovery box use. 
  • Summarize catch of retained and released fish by species, identify mark status (presence or absence of adipose fin).
  • Identify presence or absence of code ware tag (CWT) utilizing standard detection protocols, collect DNA genetic tissue samples, document bycatch and incidental encounters, and collect any other biological samples as needed.
  • Daily communication with supervisor providing updates regarding the status of work and/or emerging issues.
  • Maintain regular and professional conduct with commercial fishermen and buyers that promotes a positive relationship to facilitate cooperation in reporting fishing effort and landings.

Data management: 

  • Maintain accurate and legible field records of data collected and observations made each day while onboard a commercial vessel or in a fish house or dock.
  • Maintain, in chronological order, tissue samples (genetics) and/or scale cards collected each day.

Additional work as assigned:

  • May include but is not limited to assisting at one (1) of the Willapa Bay hatchery facilities identifying, sorting, and counting Chinook, coho, and/or chum.


  • Work Setting, including hazards:
    • Work is conducted on a commercial fishing vessel in Willapa Bay and/or Grays Harbor basins. The work environment is typically outdoors and can be physically demanding. 
    • Ability to fully and effectively complete assigned duties and tasks while at sea, especially during rough seas and inclement weather. 
  • Schedule:
    • Intermittent, on-call seven (7) days per week during the open commercial salmon fishery season. Work is nonscheduled, hourly, and can be up to 15 hours per day, 3 - 5 days per week. 
    • Weekend, holiday, and evening (overnight) work may be required. Fishery openers are 12 hours during daylight hours.
    • Work can vary due to inclement weather and water conditions. The start and end times for the shift usually fall outside of the normal 8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. work schedule.  
    • Must be flexible with a schedule with changing circumstances. Hours over 40 per week accrues as comp time (OT) or is paid out each payroll period.
  • Travel Requirements:
    • Travel requirements are within Willapa Bay and/or Grays Harbor basins and depending on location, travel time can vary from 45 minutes to two (2) hours, roundtrip. 
    • The use of a personal vehicle is required. Mileage from the duty station to dock or vessels will be reimbursed. Per diem rates are provided during on-board observation hours worked.
    • Overnight stays may be authorized depending on circumstances. 
  • Tools and Equipment:
    • Personal floatation device (PFD), DNA kit, thumb counters, scale sample kit, rain gear, forceps, coded wire tag (CWT) wand, and other safety equipment will be provided.
  • Customer Interactions:
    • Ability to communicate with the commercial captains and crews. 
    • Answers basic questions or provides staff contact information for follow-up information.



  • Graduation from high school or GED including one (1) year of high school science. 


  • One (1) or more of the following, totaling at least two (2) years: 
    • Experience as a Scientific Technician 1.
    • Laboratory or field experience as an assistant to a biologist, chemist, or zoologist.
    • College course work involving major study in biology, zoology, fisheries, chemistry, natural sciences, or closely allied field.
    • Professional or volunteer experience involving biology, zoology, fisheries, chemistry, natural resources, engineering, or closely allied fields.


  • Valid Driver’s License.


In addition to those required qualifications, our ideal applicant will also have some or all of the following: 

  • Pacific salmon, sturgeon, marine mammal, and some bird identification experience
  • Ability to quickly, accurately, and legibly collect and record data with attention to detail.
  • Fisheries sampling experience.
  • Boat experience
  • Experience communicating and interacting with the public.

Supplemental Information:

Please note: Failure to follow the instructions below may lead to disqualification.

Experience and education selected, listed, and detailed in the Supplemental Questions must be verifiable in the application.

In order to successfully apply for this position, you MUST complete your profile at www.careers.wa.gov and attach the following to your profile before completing the online application:

  • A cover letter describing how you meet the qualifications of this position (Generic cover letter will not be accepted).
  • A current resume. 
  • Three professional references. 


All new employees must complete an Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9 Form) on their first day of work. If hired for this or any position at WDFW, you will be required to provide documentation proving you are eligible to work in the United States. For a list of acceptable documents, please use the following link:  https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/form-i-9-acceptable-documents


Learn about our agency and the perks of working for WDFW!

The Washington 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. We value demonstrated skill in living WDFW values of Accountability, Service, Professionalism, Integrity, Respect, and Empathy (ASPIRE).

WDFW employees may be eligible for the following: Benefits

Medical/Dental/Vision for employee & dependent(s), Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), Vacation, Sick, and other Leave types. 

Eleven (11) Paid Holidays per year and one (1) personal holiday if the employee is scheduled to be, or has been, continuously employed by the State of Washington for at least four (4) months. 

Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Tuition Waiver, Long Term Disability & Life Insurance, Deferred Compensation Programs, Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP), Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA),  and an Employee Assistance Program.


This position is in the bargaining unit represented by the Washington Association of Fish & Wildlife Professionals and is subject to the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the State of Washington, Department of Fish & Wildlife, and the Washington Association of Fish & Wildlife Professionals.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Employer


To take advantage of veteran preference, please do the following:

  • Email a copy of your DD214 (Member 4 copy), NGB 22 or USDVA signed verification of service letter to Elizabeth.Bullard@dfw.wa.gov.
  • Subject line must include recruitment number, position, and Vet (for example: #10155 Biologist 1 – Veteran)
  • Include your name as it appears on your application in careers.wa.gov.


To take advantage of military spouse preference, please do the following:

  • Notify us of your military spouse status by email at Elizabeth.Bullard@dfw.wa.gov.  
  • Subject line must include recruitment number, position, and MS (for example: #10155 Biologist 1 – MS)
  • Include your name as it appears on your application in careers.wa.gov.

Note: Please blackout any PII (personally identifiable information) data such as social security numbers. 

As part of WDFW’s efforts to advance respectful and inclusive work environments, the Agency expects inclusivity as part of our professional interactions and communications.   Therefore, we want to ensure that all individuals feel welcome, are treated fairly and respectfully.  All staff are empowered to fully contribute to serving their work unit, Agency, and the citizens of Washington.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife is an equal opportunity employer. We strive to create a working environment that includes and respects cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation and gender identity diversity.  Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of disability, persons over 40 years of age, disabled and Vietnam era veterans and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply.  

Persons needing accommodation in the application process or this announcement in an alternative format please contact Jayme Chase by phone 360-902-2278 or email Jayme.Chase@dfw.wa.gov,  or the Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) at 800-833-6388.

If you are having technical difficulties creating, accessing, or completing your application, please call NEOGOV toll-free at (855) 524-5627 or support@neogov.com.

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Category Fisheries