Salary: $3,401.00 – $4,425.00 Monthly
Location: Clallam County – Forks, WA
Job Type: Full Time – Permanent
Department: Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
Job Number: 2022-18076

Within the Fish Program’s Coastal Marine Fish Science Unit, this position collects biological, catch, and effort data on recreational and commercial marine fish fisheries. These marine fish include up to 100 groundfish (also known as bottomfish) species, and 10 coastal pelagic species (CPS) or forage fish species that are managed by the WDFW and the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) through its Groundfish Fishery Management Plan and Coastal Pelagic Species Fishery Management Plan.

In this role, you will serve as the agency’s liaison with the commercial industry and with other enforcement agencies, participate in at-sea research studies, and process marine fish age structures for reading. 

The data collected, entered, and reported by this position are used by state and federal scientists in stock assessments that inform both the status and management of healthy coastal marine fish populations and overfished species (e.g. Yelloweye Rockfish, Pacific sardine) under federal rebuilding plans.

This is an opportunity to use your expertise and knowledge of fisheries, ports, and fish species to perform preliminary quality assessments of monitoring program data and/or research project data.

In this dynamic role, you will closely monitor port and fishing activity and independently adjust sampling efforts to meet established sampling goals.

With your experience, you will assess changes in the fisheries or markets that may affect sampling goals, methods, or protocols and communicate these to supervisor and managers.

You thrive on building collaboration and teamwork, ensuring to communicate with charter skippers, external entities, and other WDFW Units regarding fishery schedules and sampling logistics.

We are seeking a candidate to serve as a species identification expert and to provide sampling procedures and/or fish identification training to internal and external staff, including enforcement officers, fisherman, and buyers.

Our Coastal Marine Fish Technician,

  • Closely monitors port and fishing activity through communication with individual fishers and dealers/buyers and adjusts all sampling efforts to meet established sampling goals.
  • Collects biological (weight, length, sex, maturity, genetic tissue samples, ageing structures) and catch composition data from research, commercial, and recreational marine fish landings.
  • Evaluates fish landing receipts (tickets) and logbooks for accuracy, relying on knowledge of fishery, target species, bycatch, and gears.
  • Processes and prepares fins, otoliths, or other ageing structures for further analysis.
  • Alerts fishery participants to groundfish and hagfish regulation changes. Educates industry as needed to ensure compliance with regulations.


  • Work Setting, including hazards:
    1. Work settings may include onboard vessels while at-sea, coastal beaches and estuaries, fish buying facilities, recreational or commercial fishing docks, laboratories, and office environments.
    2. Shoreside sampling duties will be conducted outdoors with minimal protection during inclement weather.
    3. At-sea duties may be performed onboard agency-owned vessels, chartered vessels, or commercial fishing vessels in unprotected coastal waters where sea state conditions can deteriorate quickly. Assigned duties and tasks are expected to be completed in any sea state condition the vessel captain and lead biologist deem safe. Some extended at-sea trips may require living onboard vessels for up to 6 days with limited or reduced accommodations (i.e., bunking in shared space, water restrictions for bathing, basic cooking facilities).
    4. Assigned work will be conducted in rough seas, in severe inclement weather, and on slippery/uneven/steep/moving decks and docks. Climbing steps/ladders, frequent and repetitive lifting baskets of fish of up to 50 pounds unassisted over a 10-hour work shift, communicating on a CB/VHF radio, and hearing/communicating over loud motors and other vessel equipment is necessary to successfully perform all tasks. Processing biological samples requires sitting in a laboratory setting up to 10 hours per shift.
    5. Other potential hazards include vessel mechanical failure; risk of puncture wounds and lacerations from sampling equipment, knives, or fish spines; and repetitive stress injury from processing fish samples and computer data entry.
  • Schedule:
    1. The daily or weekly schedule associated with port sampling or other fieldwork is highly variable; schedule flexibility is crucial as work is dictated by fishing patterns and seasons, processing operations, and ocean/weather conditions, or project needs.
    2. Days or times to report to work is often scheduled on short notice, i.e., less than one day advance notice.
    3. This position involves working days, evenings, nights, or weekends. Work schedules for office or lab duties can be more predictable.
    4. Field work: 24/7 typically up to 40 hours per week but on occasion up to 60 hours/week during peak fishing seasons.
    5. Office/lab work is typically 8-5, M-F or 4-10s.
  • Travel Requirements:
    1. Highly variable depending on activity.
    2. Travel is necessary for some projects and will entail multiple nights at hotel/motel accommodations at agency expense.
    3. Depending on specific project logistics, meals will be provided for the group as “camp groceries” or individuals will be responsible for acquiring food for personal use from grocery stores or restaurants. When in travel status per diem is available to cover food expenses.
    4. May require occasional overnight travel to other ports (in state and out-of-state) for dockside sampling or to provide training for other samplers. Overnight trips of up to 5 days may be required to attend trainings or scientific conferences.
  • Tools and Equipment:
    1. Any equipment needed for collecting biological data, tagging, or recovering/releasing marine species.
    2. Vehicles or vessels will be used to access needed information. 
    3. Scientific equipment includes personal computer, electronic data loggers, electronic and mechanical scales, fishing rods/reels, pressure washer, tagging guns, knives, dissection tools measuring boards and cameras.
  • Customer Interactions:
    1. Position will interact with volunteers, recreational and commercial fishermen, environmental groups, fish buyers/processors, inter-agency scientists and managers, and the general public.
    2. Acts as a liaison between WDFW and commercial/recreational fishers.
    3. Provides information on WDFW activities, policies, regulations, and general biology.
    4. Provides technical advice to WDFW Enforcement.

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

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


  • Graduation from high school or GED, including one 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.


  • Valid driver’s license.


General Knowledge:

  • Familiarity with commercial fishery landing and processing operations, and sport fishery operations.
  • Knowledge of commercial and sport fishing marine gears, methods and regulations.
  • Working knowledge of marine fish sampling techniques and random sample design.
  • Knowledgeable of WISHA, DOSH, and agency safety standards; capable of implementing and enforcing safety protocols.

Sampling Qualifications:

  • Strong marine fish species identification skills; can correctly identify the approximately 100 species of groundfish and 10 coastal pelagic species found on the Washington coast.
  • Skilled at procedures for collecting and processing biological ageing structures (otoliths, fins) from a variety of marine fish species.
  • Ability to collect data systematically with a high degree of accuracy, precision, and completeness.
  • Familiar with laboratory equipment including microscopes, precision saws and fume hoods; capable of operating lab equipment safely following State and Federal guidelines.


  • Basic skills using Microsoft Excel, Access, and email software, and iFormBuilder.
  • Skilled in collecting real time data accurately and with minimal errors on electronic devices while in the field, including at sea.
  • Can proficiently review and compile data collected by themselves and/or coworkers for quality control.

Communication Abilities:

  • Strong skills in diplomacy and relationship building between coworkers, stakeholders, and the general public.
  • Capable of communicating and being easily accessible via phone and e-mail.
  • Can clearly communicate verbally and in writing with individuals and groups within and outside of the agency.


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.

Supplemental Information
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. 

Apply here:

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).

WDFW employees may be eligible for the following: Medical/Dental/Vision for employee & dependent(s), Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), Vacation, Sick, and other Leave*, 11 Paid Holidays per year*, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Tuition Waiver, Long Term Disability & Life Insurance, Deferred Compensation Programs, Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP), Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA), Employee Assistance Program, Commute Trip Reduction Incentives (Download PDF reader), Combined Fund Drive, SmartHealth.

UNION – WAFWP: 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 should 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 should 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. For further information, please contact us at

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 may call (360) 902-2276 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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