Fish Hatchery Specialist 2 (In-Training)

Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife

Shelton, Washington

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $3,145 - $4,602
Required Experience 2 - 6 years


Fish Program – Hatcheries Division 
Shelton, Washington - Mason County                                                                               


Bring your fish culture expertise to perform scientific, technical, and critical work on critical maintenance and operations at our Eells Springs Hatchery facility in Shelton WA, and at trap sites in beautiful Mason County in Washington.

We are recruiting to hire at the Fish Hatchery Specialist 1 or 2 level, and we will train a Fish Hatchery Specialist 1 up to the Fish Hatchery Specialist 2.

Depending on which level you are hired at, your salary range will be as follows:

Fish Hatchery Specialist 1 - $3,145 - $4,174

Fish Hatchery Specialist 2 - $3,454 - $4,602

Juvenile Salmon – Photo Credit: Portia Leigh.

Picture yourself, rearing anadromous (fish born in freshwater who spend most of their lives in saltwater and return to freshwater to spawn) and non-anadromous species of fish.

This is an opportunity to identify, sort and sample species, while ensuring the health of our fish populations by calculating feed size and monitoring fish behavior.

In this dynamic role, you will be a key player that helps with everything from cleaning ponds and raceways, to analyzing tissue samples and conducting fish inventories.

The optimal applicants thrive on building collaboration and teamwork, and support WDFW’s initiatives to celebrate diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace.

Here’s a look at some of the duties of the Fish Hatchery Specialist 2,

Perform Fish Culture:

  • Calculates and feeds fish according to pond populations and weight samples. Adjust feed size and amount fed as needed.
  • Monitors fish behavior and health.
  • Monitors egg and fish production and disinfects and enumerates (counts) eggs.
  • Administers therapeutics, calculates, and administers drugs as prescribed.
  • Identifies, sorts, and samples species for spawning and adult distribution.
  • Cleans ponds and raceways, troughs, and incubator systems to maintain fish health.
  • Identifies marked adults and collects tags/marks for bio sampling.
  • Records data and identify multiple marks by sight or mechanical devices.
  • Collects fish tissue and fluid samples for Fish Health Specialists without contaminating samples.
  • Operates commercial transport vehicles. Ensures vehicle is in working order by performing pre-trip inspections and reports needed repairs.
  • Loads truck according to safe hauling densities, utilizes proper oxygen levels and monitors fish during transport.

Record Keeping and Reporting:

  • Proficient use of computers and software in order to perform various aspects of hatchery work, including data entry, record keeping, reporting (both within and outside agency).
  • Accurately fills out and submits agency forms such as fish transfer tickets, hatchery invoice forms and other relevant forms.
  • Assist or develops forms or spreadsheets for more efficient record keeping.
  • Performs water quality analysis and discharge monitoring reports (DMR) as required by the Department of Ecology to maintain hatchery discharge permits (NPDES).
  • Create programs to calculate desired growth rates through yearly rearing cycle (Projection sheets) that monitor fish sizes using samples & feed conversions.

Operation and Maintenance of Facility and Equipment:

  • Maintains proper water flow and rearing environments.
  • Performs standby which requires responding to alarms and taking appropriate action to preserve facility programs, tests alarms and reports failures to agency personnel.
  • Monitors and maintains facility support systems i.e., diesel generators, domestic water systems, alarm panels and other support systems.
  • Actively identifies safety hazards and acts or recommends remedies as appropriate.
  • Perform maintenance duties in and around hatchery and residences to preserve a clean and safe working environment.
  • Applies herbicides or controlled burning for weed control.
  • Maintain hatchery housing, i.e., build/maintain fences, plumbing and minor electrical repairs.


  • Work Setting, including hazards:
    • Work is performed outdoors about 250 days a year in varying weather conditions such as rain, snow, sun, and in the dark, cold or hot.
    • On a daily basis and during the week, this position will be required to lift at least  50 lbs. of, for example, fish, bags of salt and fish food.
    • Use respirator and other Proper Protective Equipment (PPE) while working with various chemicals used at facility.
    • Negotiate water in emergency situations.
  • Perform strenuous physical activities.
  • Schedule:
    • Typically 40 hours a week, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday.
    • The work hours can vary greatly at different times of the year depending on the work schedule and weather conditions.
  • Standby:
    • Standby duties are currently assigned - standby entails the employee being responsible for overseeing the facility for the remaining 16 hours of the day after the regular 8-hour shift. While on standby this position will work ten (10) days on and be off four (4) days.
    • All applicants applying for this position should understand that standby is a requirement for all positions in the Fish Hatchery Specialist series.
    • Management may determine it is necessary to assign standby in order to accomplish the goals and objectives of the agency and as necessary to protect the resources of the agency and if assigned, it will be a requirement of the position.
  • Housing:
    • Housing is provided for this position.
  • Travel Requirements:
    • Travel may be required to accomplish agency goals.
  • Tools and Equipment:
    • Hand & power tools, lawn care equipment, tractors, forklifts, welding equipment, egg picking machines, water sampling instruments, transport trucks, passenger vehicles, adult fish pumps, adult fish counters, Coded Wire Tag (CWT) identification equipment, trash pumps, pressure washers, diesel generators, small gas engine, computers, and software.
  • Customer Interactions:
    • Communicate effectively with the public and volunteers, interact with small community groups and individuals on a regular basis.


This Fish Hatchery Specialist 2 (In-Training) series provides mentoring and career development opportunities for candidates with limited hatchery and fish culture experience. 

Candidates will be hired as a Fish Hatchery Specialist 1 or 2, dependent on skills and experience.

Upon satisfactory completion of the 12-month in-training plan, the selected candidate will automatically be promoted to a Fish Hatchery Specialist 2.

Required Qualifications for the Fish Hatchery Specialist 1:

  • An Associate’s degree in fisheries technology, biology, or a closely allied field.


  • Three (3) years of education towards a Bachelor’s degree in fisheries, biology, or a closely allied field.


  • Successful completion of a fish culture program from a vocational school.


  • Three (3) years of experience performing a variety of fish culture duties in a hatchery will substitute for the required education.

Required Qualifications for the Fish Hatchery Specialist 2 (Goal Class):

  • One (1) year of experience as a Fish Hatchery Specialist 1 AND successful completion of agency supervised training program.


  • An Associate’s degree in fisheries technology or closely allied field AND one (1) year of experience performing fish culture duties in a hatchery.


  • Two (2) years of education towards a Bachelor’s degree in fisheries, biology or closely allied field AND one (1) year of experience performing fish culture duties in a hatchery.


  • Successful completion of a fish culture program from a vocational school AND one (1) year of experience performing fish culture duties in a hatchery.

Please Note: Three (3) years of experience performing a variety of fish culture duties in a hatchery will substitute for the required education.


  • Valid driver’s license is required.

Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment:

  • Class B Commercial Driver’s License is required within six (6) months of employment.
  • A valid Washington State Pesticide Applicator’s License may be required, and recertification of this license is required during a 5 year period. Obtained within 6 months of hire.
  • Washington State Boaters Education Card is required within six (6) months of employment.


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

  • Two or four year degree in Fisheries or closely associated field.

Visit Careers.wa.gov/Job14641 

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Category Fisheries