Senior-Level Fisheries Technician - Scientific Technician 3 - Permanent - *05706-24

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Ridgefield, Washington

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $3,883.00 - $5,214.00 Monthly
Deadline Jun 05, 2024


Fish Program – Fish Science
Ridgefield, Washington – Clark County

Are you passionate about preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish and their ecosystems while providing sustainable recreational and commercial opportunities? Do you enjoy working outdoors, ready to take on the challenge of fieldwork that makes a tangible impact? If so, join us in the heart of the Lower Columbia River Basin as we embark on a vision to conserve salmon, steelhead, and sturgeon populations!

Spearhead critical sampling and biological data collection efforts that will be instrumental in assessing stock status and maintaining sustainable recreational opportunities, vital for the preservation of these iconic species.

This is an opportunity to be part of a dynamic team utilizing cutting-edge life-cycle monitoring frameworks, ensuring the health and resilience of wild fish populations.

With your experience, you can help shape and refine sampling protocols, driving efficiency and accuracy in our data collection efforts, focused on monitoring of ESA-listed species.

You thrive on building collaboration and teamwork, contributing to our inclusive and professional environment where diversity is valued.


Here are some things you will do in this role:

Lead and oversee data collection and biological sampling of adult salmon and winter steelhead (September-May): 

  • Organizes and conducts spawning ground surveys of salmon and steelhead following established protocols.
  • Walks, rafts, and operates jet boats on rivers to enumerate target species and collect biological samples.
  • Supervises journey-level technicians in the performance of their assigned duties which includes overseeing accurate data collection procedures and mentoring staff to safely operate motorized and non-motorized boats.

Supports the Lewis River Wild Stock Fall Chinook Tagging Project (June): 

  • Oversee, supervise, and participates in sampling of juvenile fall Chinook salmon in the NF Lewis River
  • Assists with seining pre-season preparation (order supplies, repair nets, construct holding and transport containers), as needed.
  • Serve as a primary jet boat operator.

Weir preparation, installation, and management (July-October): 

  • Assisting other Region 5 biologists with the preparation of weir materials ahead of the in-water work period.
  • Assisting with the installation and removal of weirs on the Kalama and Green Rivers, and Cedar Creek.
  • Collaborates with biologists and other technicians to design new and existing weirs to optimize efficiency; takes the initiative to update and redesign weirs and traps.

Data entry and management (year-round): 

  • Accurately recording and proofing data collected during field activities. 
  • Using a computer at the regional office or in the field to enter data into established spreadsheets and/or databases (e.g. Traps, Weirs, Surveys database and carcass tagging spreadsheets). 
  • Downloading information from various handheld data collection devices such as data loggers, GPS units, PIT tag readers and CWT detectors.

Support sturgeon and Eulachon monitoring, research, and fishery sampling in Region 5 (Jan- May): 

  • Work aboard commercial vessels to tag, remove fin tissue clips, and record biological data from White Sturgeon caught during stock assessments conducted in the Lower Columbia River.
  • Repair and build field gear and prepare bait for the White Sturgeon stock assessment.


  • Work Setting, including hazards:
    • Approximately 80% of the time is in a non-office, field environment, while conducting duties such as spawning ground surveys by either foot, cataraft, or jet boat; operating, sampling, and tagging salmonids and other species at traps and/or weirs; installing and removing fish monitoring equipment (weirs and traps); and monitoring, observing, and sampling fisheries, both commercial and sport; sturgeon tagging aboard a commercial fishing vessel. 
    • While working outdoors, candidates may be exposed to extreme temperatures, with the possibility of daytime highs greater than 100°F and daytime lows less than 30°F, with wind speeds of greater than 25 mph.  Duties are often conducted on wet slippery surfaces.
    • Lift, either with or without assistance, large, live and dead fish, typically up to 30 lbs and rarely over 100 lbs; repetitively carry loads up to 70 pounds for short distances over rough terrain; walk 4-6 miles per day over rough and uneven terrain along remote streams and rivers and raft 6 – 15 miles per day including technically advanced sections; raft whitewater conditions with oar-powered cataraft boats up to class 3 and class 3+ rapids; and climb in and out of motorized and non-motorized boats.  Incumbent will spend most of their time in the field working on, over, or beside moving water. Must be able to negotiate water in emergency situations. 
    • Accurately record repetitive data under adverse environmental conditions for long periods of time.
    • Sample spawned out salmon carcasses that can contain very strong odors.
    • The remaining 20% of work time is in an office and or laboratory setting, operating a computer, and performing various other tasks as assigned.  Office hazards include working under fluorescent light, repetitively entering data into computer, looking at computer monitor for long periods of time, sitting or standing for long periods of time. 
  • Schedule:
    • Generally, a work week consists of 40 hours spread across 5 days (Monday – Friday) with core work hours between sunrise and sunset.
    • Occasionally, a work week can surpass 40-hours and/or include weekends, holidays, and nights.
  • Travel Requirements:
    • Most duties are conducted in the field in and around river located in the lower Columbia River basin away from the regional office (i.e., duty station) located in Ridgefield, Washington.
    • Daily travel from the duty station to and from field locations is required using a departmental-issued vehicle or, rarely, a personal vehicle.
    • Overnight travel may occasionally be required as part of the job.
  • Tools and Equipment:
    • May include: the use of basic hand and carpentry tools, winches, pulleys and blocks, motorized and non-motorized watercraft, 4x4 vehicles; the ability to tow vehicles; the use of 200’ beach seines, PIT tag injectors, PIT tag readers, CWT detectors, GPS units, weighing scales, iPAD, ToughPad, and computers.
  • Customer Interactions:
    • Interacts with landowners in the field; discusses objectives of projects and intent of surveys being completed in the area.  Landowners’ pets and wildlife encounters are other potential field encounters.
    • May interact with personnel from other State and/or Federal agencies.
    • Maintain a professional and calm demeanor when interacting with WDFW staff, the public, personnel from other state agencies, and local landowners.



  • Graduation from high school or GED (including one (1) year of high school science), and four (4) years of experience as a Scientific Technician.


  • Graduation from high school or GED (including one (1) year of high school science), and four (4) years of laboratory or field experience as an assistant to a health or safety professional, biologist, chemist, or zoologist.

Please note:

  • College course work involving major study in biology, zoology, fisheries, chemistry, natural sciences, or closely allied field will substitute year-for-year for experience, provided the course work includes at least 6 semester or 9 quarter hours of natural or environmental science classes.


  • Valid and unrestricted driver’s license.

Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment:

  • Completion of a basic CPR and First Aid course either before beginning work, or to be completed within the first six months of hire and renewed before expiration (approximately one every two years)  
  • Successful completion of agency training and/or certification for assigned watercraft is dependent on supervisory direction, position need and training availability.
  • Completion of Agency Motorboat Operators Training Course within the first year of hire, pending availability for the course.
  • WDFW snorkel training and certification, with completion within 6 months of hire and renewal expected annually.

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

  • Resistance board and fixed panel adult fish weirs. 
  • Operation of rotary screw and fence-panel (with live box) juvenile traps.
  • Fish marking and tagging protocols.
  • Fishery monitoring, observing and sampling.
  • Commercial fishing gear types and methods.
  • Basic skills in aluminum and steel welding, bending, and cutting.
  • Basic carpentry skills. 
  • How to operate CWT and PIT tag detectors.

Ability to:

  • Identify salmonids and other fish species in larval, juvenile and/or adult life stages.
  • Identify salmonid redds.
  • Row non-motorized oar-framed boats such as drift boats and catarafts in white water conditions in Class 1 through 3 rapids.
  • Pass a federal background check.
  • Do basic functions in MS Excel, Word, and Access.
  • Operate handheld GPS and PDA devices.
  • Work alone in remote locations.
  • Work well with others in both a field and office setting.
  • Operate a motorboat using propeller propulsion.
  • Operate a motorboat using jet-pump propulsion.

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