Senior Fisheries Biologist

WRA, Inc. San Rafael, California
Job Type Paid permanent

We are looking for a Senior Fisheries Biologist to join us on a full-time basis.  The successful candidate will be responsible for managing fisheries projects in the Northern California area and working with the Fisheries Program Manager to develop fisheries resources work.  Additionally, the Senior Fisheries Biologist will primarily oversee the implementation and monitoring of several large-scale restoration projects throughout California focused on recovering listed fish species.  The person in this role will have experience conducting native fish restoration planning, design, and implementation services.

About the Position

  • Collaborating with WRA teams to identify highly suitable properties to recover listed species in priority California watersheds;
  • Developing restoration and monitoring plans for listed fish species;
  • Analyzing and presenting aquatic resource;
  • Participating in interdisciplinary teams formed to implement large-scale restoration projects;
  • Conducting fish surveys and inventories to document performance of restoration actions;
  • Coordination with restoration implementation and maintenance crew to achieve performance standards and habitat restoration goals;
  • Representing WRA in public forums on technical and resource management issues;
  • Developing new projects and client relationships;
  • Marketing, project and client management, and proposal preparation;
  • Analyzing and presenting aquatic resource data;
  • Leading authorship on fisheries-related technical reports;
  • Preparing environmental compliance (e.g., CEQA/NEPA/ESA/FERC), habitat conservation plans, and permitting documents;
  • Mentoring junior staff on technical, project management, and career development matters.

Required Skills/Experience

  • Established Fisheries professional possessing an advanced degree and 10 years of experience at a professional services firm;    
  • CEQA/NEPA - biological analysis, impact evaluation, mitigation measure guidance;                            
  • Expert in fisheries survey/study design, sampling, and analysis experience;                                          
  • ESA/CESA/NMFS/CDFW consultation experience;     
  • Restoration design and guidance - floodplain habitat, spawning habitat, large woody placement, bank stabilization, fish passage, etc.;                                                                
  • Hydroacoustic assessment and evaluations;                                                                                       
  • Demonstrated experience working with engineers - ability to review and understand plan sheets and engineer drawings, familiarity with types of modeling (HEC-RAS, PHABSIM, bedload modeling, particle tracking, etc.);               
  • Project management experience - managing budgets, task and budget development, client management, staff utilization and assignment, scheduling;                                                                 
  • Demonstrated internal and external thought leadership;
  • Excellent communicator - ability to describe technical matters in common relatable terms that does not come across as demeaning or degrading;                                                                                          
  • Demonstrated business development capabilities - new client development;
  • Interest and willingness to support marketing efforts, attend business development events, client lunches, etc.;      

Desired Skills/Experience

  • Federal Recovery Permit, Scientific Collectors Permits, MOU, etc. for salmonids, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, tidewater goby, pupfish, unarmored threespine stickleback, or other California Fishes;                                            
  • Habitat inventory including salmonid restoration manual (CDFW) or similar protocol for quantifying aquatic habitat;                                                                               
  • Hydrology experience including flow measurements, functional flow experience, fish screens (approach velocities), water level monitoring, etc.;                                                                                
  • Geomorphology experience including sediment/substrate and channel surveying, stream classification, experience with channel form and function assessment, surveys, and incorporation of data;
  • Marine Mammal IHA (incidental harassment authorization) including application and consultation with NMFS;               
  • Biological Resource Assessment experience - special status species evaluations; 
  • Understanding of Clean Water Act permits, processes, and requirements including 404 (NWPs, Programatics, Individual Permits), 408 flood/levee permits and authorizations, and state 401 water cert;                                            
  • Understanding of BCDC permits, processes and requirements;
  • Understanding of CA Coastal Commission permits, processes and requirements;
  • Demonstrated experience working in the Mitigation or Conservation Finance Industry.   


We offer an excellent salary and benefits package in a positive, progressive work environment.  Our employment package includes options for 100% employer-paid medical, dental, vision, disability, and life insurance; FSA, voluntary life, voluntary accident, critical illness and pet insurance; commuter program, cell phone reimbursement program, free parking, profit sharing, discretionary bonuses, and 401K with generous match.  WRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

About Us

WRA, Inc. is an environmental consulting firm based in San Rafael, California, with offices in Petaluma, Emeryville, San Diego, and Denver.  For more than 35 years, WRA has provided outstanding ecological and design expertise to develop successful solutions for our clients.  We employ experts in the fields of plant, wildlife, and wetland ecology, GIS, CEQA/NEPA, and landscape architecture.  More information about WRA and our areas of expertise can be found at


Interested candidates should respond by e-mailing your resume and cover letter to  Please reference “Senior Fisheries Biologist” in the subject line.  Within your cover letter, please tell us where you heard about the position and state your salary requirements.

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