Lower Columbia River Chum Biologist - Fish & Wildlife Biologist 2 - Permanent - *07289-24

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Ridgefield, Washington

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $4,410.00 - $5,929.00 Monthly
Deadline Jul 22, 2024


Fish Program – Fish Management Division
Ridgefield, Washington – Clark County

The salary listed includes the 3% pay increase that goes into effect on July 1, 2024.

This position may be eligible for telework.  The default assigned work location for this position is in Ridgefield, Washington.  Frequency of onsite work will vary based on business and operational needs.

Provide assistance to the lead biologist responsible for implementing the Lower Columbia River Chum Biological Opinion project, and be responsible for specific pieces of the overall project.

Supervise and participate in field activities to monitor adult and juvenile populations of salmonids within many southwest Washington tributaries and the mainstem Columbia River.

Assist with habitat restoration project identification, evaluation, and permitting for the Lower Columbia River Chum Biological Opinion project.

This is an opportunity to assist lead biologist with habitat restoration projects (scoping, permitting, and tracking implementation).

In this dynamic role, you may participate as needed in snorkel sampling or resight, inspecting fish traps, or deploying nets.

You thrive on building collaboration and teamwork, working with regional data-managers and lead project biologist to summarize and analyze data.


Here are some things you will do in this role:

Lower Columbia River Chum Biological Opinion Project M&E – Juvenile salmonid out-migrant monitoring: 

  • Staff coordination & logistics for the juvenile salmonid monitoring: lead independent field crew, participate in fieldwork, trap install/removal, and occasionally daily operations (screw and fence-panel weir w/live box).
  • Ensure data collected is accurate and entered in a timely manner into standardized WDFW databases (i.e. JMX).
  • Conduct QA/QC exercises and preliminary analysis to generate abundance estimates and other data needed for status and annual reports.

Lower Columbia River Chum Biological Opinion Project M&E – Adult chum salmon monitoring: 

  • Staff coordination & logistics for the adult chum salmon monitoring: lead independent field crew, participate in fieldwork (adult seining, adult trap operations, stream surveys, live adult and carcass tagging programs).
  •  Ensure data collected is accurate and entered in a timely manner into standardized WDFW databases (i.e. TWS).
  • Conduct QA/QC exercises and preliminary analysis to generate abundance estimates and other data needed for status and annual reports. 
  • Gather data in rivers via snorkeling to identify, count, and/or collect fish to deploy and inspect field gear.

Lower Columbia River Chum Biological Opinion Project – Annual reporting requirements: 

  • Assist with data summarization, table generation and edit/update text sections.
  • Annual reports include contract deliverable reports (adult and juvenile monitoring activities and enhancement/re-introduction programs) and ESA permit applications and reports (juvenile monitoring activities).
  • Assist with SPI updates – both stock structure/description and abundance estimate updates.


  • Work Setting, including hazards:
    • This position is 60% field work, 40% office work.
    • Works outdoors under cold, wet slippery conditions, work alone in remote locations, work early and late hours (some in darkness).  Lift up to 70 pounds, walk streams up to five (5) miles per day under cold/wet/slippery conditions, and climbing up and down steep and slippery stream banks.
    • Sample carcasses of dead and rotting salmon despite very strong odors.
    • Climb in and out of boats.
    • Work at night as necessary.
    • Snorkel in rivers with fast flowing/whitewater conditions under variable weather conditions for up to three (3) miles per day.
    • Must be able to negotiate water in emergency situations. 
  • Schedule:
    • 24/7.
    • Must be willing to work long days, nights, weekends, and some holidays.
    • For eight (8) or so months of the year, schedule will routinely vary into weekend.  Often daily starting earlier than 8AM, with occasional long days past 5PM.
  • Travel Requirements:
    • Routine daily travel to field sites in Region 5.
    • Periodic travel to other states for meetings, and overnight travel on occasion as needed.
  • Tools and Equipment:
    • 18-20’ jet-sled boats, full-sized trucks, 50-200’ beach seines, screw and fence-panel weir w/live box juvenile traps, pontoon-rafts, fish tagging tools, hand tools (hammer, saw, screwdriver, etc.), power tools (skill saw, drill, rotary hammer drill, etc.), computers, DO meter, and flow meter.
  • Customer Interactions:
    • Primarily field contacts with landowners and resource users (anglers).



  • A Bachelor's degree in fisheries, wildlife management, natural resource science, or environmental science.


  • Equivalent education/experience.

Please note:

  • Closely related qualifying experience in fisheries, wildlife, or habitat management or research may be substituted for the required education on a year-by-year basis.


  • Valid driver’s license.

Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment:

  • WDFW snorkel training and certification, with completion within six months of hire and renewal expected annually.
  • Successful completion of agency training and/or certification for assigned watercraft is dependent on supervisory direction, position need and?training availability.

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

  • WDFW snorkel training and certification.

Ability to:

  • Work productively with others.
  • Conduct stream surveys via foot, pontoon rafts, power boat, and snorkeling.
  • Properly handle live adult and juvenile fish (primarily salmonids).
  • Apply adult population estimation methods and assumptions.
  • Use intermediate to advanced functions in MS Office (specifically MS Access).
  • Communicate effectively orally and in writing with others.
  • Reason logically.
  • Identify adult and juvenile salmonids.
  • Perform a variety of outdoor work in inclement weather.

Experience in/with:

  • Installing, maintaining, operating, and removing resistance board weirs.
  • Handling and tagging adult salmonids (Floy, carcass, opercle, PIT).
  • Supervising and coordinating field staff.
  • Conducting QA/QC exercises on large, complex datasets.
  • Advanced computer skills (Excel, Word & Access programs, familiar with R software).
  • Biological data collection and data entry.

Knowledge of:

  • Salmonid life histories.
  • Statistical techniques.
  • Basic methods of problem solving.
  • Viable Salmonid Population parameter (abundance, productivity, distribution, and diversity) monitoring methodologies.
  • Adult and juvenile salmonid trapping/capture techniques.
  • Salmonid aquaculture practices.

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 Cheri.Weld@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 Cheri.Weld@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, Restoration