Salary: $3,401.00 – $4,541.00 Monthly
Location: Multiple Locations – Western Washington, WA
Job Type: Full Time – Non-Permanent
Department: Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
Job Number: 2023-04404
Closing: 4/25/2023 11:59 PM Pacific

Fish Program – Puget Sound Management 

Two (2) Positions – Edmonds, Washington – Snohomish County
Three (3) Positions – Port Angeles, Washington – Clallam County
Four (4) Positions – Anacortes, Washington – Skagit County

Anticipated Appointment Length: 4.5 months
 May 25, 2023 – October 7, 2023 

This recruitment will be posted until April 25, 2023 – first review of applications will take place on April 7, 2023.  Application review is ongoing, please submit your application materials as soon as possible. This continuous recruitment may be closed at any time.

Do you enjoy fishing, operating boats, and contributing to the betterment of fish and wildlife? 

Pilot a research vessel while conducting recreational test fishing and water boat surveys for recreational salmon fisheries in the Marine Areas of the Puget Sound! 

Perform advanced technical scientific duties and independently execute established and new sampling protocols and procedures. 

With that in mind, 
Picture yourself piloting WDFW research vessels to conduct recreational test fishing using a variety of fishing methods, including weight and bait, downriggers, jigging, and divers. 

In this dynamic role you will operate and select test fishing locations with little supervision, train and direct staff in test fishing techniques, and adapt to environmental changes at-sea. 

With your experience you will operate outboard and inboard-outboard motorboats through trailering, navigating other boats in motion, launching, docking, and under inclement weather conditions. 

We are seeking candidates who respect and value the opinions of others, creating an inclusive team environment where every member feels they contribute value to the project and WDFW. 

Conduct test fishing and on the water, and boat surveys in the Marine Areas of Puget Sound for salmon fisheries:

  • Perform minor routine maintenance on the boat, motor, trailer, and test fishing equipment. 
  • Operate Global Positioning Systems (GPS), depth finders, Automatic Identification Systems (AIS), Very High Frequency (VHF) radios, and electronic data collection devices. 
  • Ensure safety of self and other staff while at sea – includes following all rules, safety procedures, and agency policies vessel operation. 
  • Collect biological data on salmon catch to obtain stock composition (DNA), age structure (scales), length information (legal and sublegal proportions) and hatchery/natural-origin (mark-status) – record data using electronic data forms and upload to Puget Sound Sampling Units’ database. 
  • Pilot WDFW research vessels to conduct on the water boat surveys – involves navigating other recreational and charter fishing vessels at sea to conduct angler interviews, and operating outboard and inboard-outboard boats in inclement weather conditions. 

Sample predominantly recreational fisheries for salmon, marine fish and shellfish catch to determine the catch per unit of effort and species composition to obtain valid sport catch estimates – includes sampling salmon for coded-wire tags (CWT) and collecting biological data:

  • Interview recreational fishery anglers at assigned boat launch facilities and accurately record data on appropriate electronic or paper forms.


  • Work Setting, including hazards:
    • Majority fieldwork – may encounter adverse weather and sea conditions, noise, odor, fish blood and slime, slippery surfaces, biting and stinging insects, and use of knives.
    • Requires repetitive movements of hands, finger manipulations, long periods of movement, boating for angler interviews, climbing in and out of boats, sampling salmon in a boat, carrying, kneeling, occasional heavy lifting of containers of fish up to 40 lbs. unassisted, and working and standing in confined spaces.  
    • Must be able to negotiate water in emergency situations.
  • Schedule:
    • Position is 24/7 (non-scheduled) – typically 8 to 10 hours per day between 5:00 A.M. and 11:00 P.M. – working 40 hours per week.  
    • Weekend and evening work is required.
  • Travel Requirements:
    • Travel around Puget Sound area with seldom overnight travel.
    • May transport agency staff and equipment in agency vehicles –personal vehicle may be used when an agency owned vehicle is unavailable. 
  • Tools and Equipment:
    • Boat trailer, Global Positioning System (GPS), compass, data logger, fishing tackle and gear including downriggers, iPad, iPhone, electronic accessories, electronic sampling equipment Coded Wire Tag (CWT) detector, weighing scale, knives, forceps, head lamp, measuring board, tally counter, tide book, totes/bins, paper forms, labels, scale cards, pencils, pens, clipboard and scissors, personal flotation device (PFD), WDFW apparel, gloves, rain gear and current sampling and administrative manuals.
  • Customer Interactions:
    • Interacts with co-workers from WDFW and Tribes, commercial harvester or fishers, salmon buyers, fish processors, recreational anglers and shellfishers. 
    • Daily interaction with the public regarding fisheries data collection, basic information including fisheries resources, agency programs and activities and sport fishing regulatory information. 
    • Acts as a liaison with 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 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 six semester or nine quarter hours of natural science classes.


  • Minimum of six (6) months or more operating 16’-28’ length motorized vessels in marine waters such as the Puget Sound or an equivalent area. 
  • Fishing for salmon from a vessel. 


  • Valid Drivers License. 


  • Twelve (12) months of experience test fishing for salmon in the Puget Sound.
  • Twelve (12) months of experience sampling fisheries in the Puget Sound. 
  • Safe operation of a vessel during adverse weather conditions in the Puget Sound.
  • Proficient use in marine electronics – includes Global Positioning System (GPS), depth finder, radar, and radios. 

Ability to: 

  • Identify all salmon species, common marine fish species, and crab species. 

Familiar with:

  • Salmon, marine fish, and shellfish life histories and sport fishing regulations.

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. 
  • First Aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certified within six (6) months of hire.

CONDITION OF EMPLOYMENT: WDFW requires all employees to be fully vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment.  You will be required to provide proof of vaccination as part of the hiring process. Please do not upload your vaccination documentation with your application materials – your vaccination status will be verified by your supervisor before you will be allowed to work. Exemptions may be granted for religious or medical purposes.

To Apply
Please note: Failure to follow the instructions below may lead to disqualification.

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 cover letter describing how you meet the qualifications of this position (Generic cover letter will not be accepted).
  • A current resume. 
  • Three professional references. 

For more information and to apply:

IMPORTANT NOTE: 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:

JOIN THE WDFW TEAM: 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).

For more information and to apply:

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