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Freshwater Sportfish Surveyor - Scientific Technician 2 - Non-Permanent - Two Openings - *06049-24


Fish Program
 La Conner, Washington – Skagit County

Anticipated Appointment Length: 6 months
 June 2, 2024 – November 30, 2024 

This is an opportunity for fieldwork experience in fisheries through collecting catch and angler effort information in support of fisheries management. 

Conduct angler creel interviews to estimate catch of target species and incidental impacts to non-target species during freshwater recreational salmon and steelhead fisheries.


Picture yourself, 

Working independently and as a team member with duties that include biological sampling of fish, collecting field data, and interviewing anglers to assess catch rates of salmon and steelhead.

In this dynamic role, 

Sample salmon catch to obtain stock composition, age structure, fish length, and hatchery and natural-origin proportions.

With your experience, 

Sample all Chinook and coho salmon with electronic coded wire tag (CWT) detection devices.

We are seeking a candidate, 

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



Some of what our Freshwater Sportfish Surveyor will enjoy doing,

Creel sampling: 

  • Conduct angler creel interviews to estimate catch of target species and incidental impacts to non-target species during freshwater recreational salmon and steelhead fisheries.
  • Perform surveys to assess angling effort, counting angler vehicles and trailers at multiple, pre-determined river locations accessed by motor vehicle.
  • Classify, sort, and enumerate marked (adipose fin-clipped) and unmarked salmon by coded wire tag (CWT) status.
  • Use a knife to remove snouts from Chinook and Coho salmon with coded wire tags (CWT).
  • Contact anglers to conduct creel interviews, traveling by foot to contact bank anglers at river access points and monitoring boat ramps for groups of returning boat anglers.
  • During interviews ask predetermined questions about an angler’s fishing experience such as trip length, target species, and catch and/or harvest.
  • Identify salmonids to species and sex and observe and record hatchery or research marks on the fish.

Data collection: 

Accurately enter data to electronic devices (iPad) and by scale card paper form.

Review and tabulate data.

Proof data already entered to databases using the DFW Fish Apps online data portal.



  • Work Setting, including hazards:
    • Work is primarily conducted in the field.
    • May encounter adverse weather and environmental conditions, noise, odors, repetitive movements of hands, and finger manipulations.
    • Long periods of squatting and walking through vegetation and in uneven terrain in and near streams and rivers to obtain angler interviews.
    • Climb in and out of boats, sample salmon in a boat, carry, kneel, regular heavy lifting (up to 40 lbs. unassisted) containers of fish.
    • Work and stand in confined spaces, be around fish blood and slime, slippery surfaces, biting and stinging insects, the use of knives.
    • Must be able to negotiate water in emergency situations.
  • Schedule:
    • Typically, 8 - 10 hours per day, between 5:00 A.M. and 11:00 P.M.
    • Scheduled all days during the week, including weekends and holidays with overtime required, as assigned.
    • Must be able to work variable days with shifts up to 12 hours including early morning and late-night hours.
  • Travel Requirements:
    • Travel will occur around the North Puget Sound area.
    • No overnight travel requirements but long drives may be assigned to collect equipment.
    • Transporting agency staff and equipment in agency vehicles.
  • Tools and Equipment:
    • iPad, electronic sampling equipment such as a coded wire tag (CWT) detector, knives, forceps, head lamp, measuring board, tally counter, totes/bins, paper forms, labels, scale cards, pencils, pens, clipboard, and scissors, WDFW apparel such as gloves, rain gear, rubber boots, waders/hip boots and copies of current recreational and commercial sampling manuals.
  • Customer Interactions:
    • Interacts with co-workers from WDFW, co-managing Tribes, recreational anglers.
    • Interacts with the public during data collection, and provides basic information regarding fisheries resources, agency programs and activities and sport fishing regulatory information. Includes possible contact with individuals who are frustrated.
    • Liaison to regional supervisor and enforcement on fishery violations observed in the field.




  • Graduation from high school or GED, including one (1) year of high school science AND two (2) years of experience as a Scientific Technician 1.


  • Graduation from high school or GED including one (1) year of high school science AND two (2) years of laboratory or field experience as an assistant to a 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 six semester (6) or nine quarter (9) hours of natural science classes.


  • Valid Driver’s License.

Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment:

  • 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: 

  • Experience sampling adult salmonids for marks and tags, including scanning fish for coded wire tags (CWT) and passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags.
  • Experience using personal computers or mobile devices for data entry and writing to produce accurate and timely work products.
  • Working knowledge of Excel and Word.
  • Ability to identify saltwater and river stage adult salmonids to species.
  • Ability to identify sex of adult salmonids.
  • Experience conducting creel surveys.


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 and attach the following to your profile before completing the online application:

  • 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:



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
  • 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



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

  • Notify us of your military spouse status by email at 
  • 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


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, 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

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