Salary: $3,246.00 – $4,324.00 Monthly
Location: King County – Other, WA
Job Type: Full Time – Non-Permanent
Job Number: 2023-07813
Department: Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
Opening Date: 06/14/2023
Closing Date: 6/28/2023 11:59 PM Pacific

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) currently operates 75 hatchery facilities, the majority dedicated to producing salmon and/or steelhead. Hatcheries have operated in Washington State for more than a century, beginning with a facility on the Kalama River in 1895. We are seeking highly motivated and experienced Fish Hatchery Specialists to work alongside a diverse team to support salmon conservation while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational opportunities in the state of Washington. 

With your experience, you will perform scientific, technical, and related maintenance duties, and assist with rearing fish.

The optimal applicant leads by example, has a positive can-do attitude, is eager to work hard, and has excellent fish husbandry skills.

You thrive on building collaboration and teamwork, and look forward to working with other staff to meet WDFW program goals, answer questions from visitors, and lead tours of the hatchery facilities.

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

Our Fish Hatchery Specialist 2,

  • Calculates and feeds fish according to pond populations and weight samples. Adjusts feed size and amount fed as needed.
  • Monitors fish behavior and health.
  • Monitors egg and fish production, and disinfects and enumerates eggs.
  • Administers therapeutics.  Calculates and administers drugs as prescribed.
  • Identifies, sorts, and samples species for spawning and adult distribution.
  • Cleans ponds and raceways, troughs, and incubator systems to maintain fish health.
  • Identifies marked adults and collects tags/marks for bio sampling.
  • Records data and can identify multiple marks by sight, UV lights, or mechanical devices.
  • Collects fish tissue and fluid samples for Fish Health Specialists without contaminating samples.
  • Performs fish inventories, splits, grading, marking trailer inventories, weight samples, and plants.
  • Picks eggs loss by hand or using equipment, and incubates for facility programs or shipments.
  • Collects adult fish by hook and line, seining, and volunteer or non-volunteer fish trap.
  • Collects adult mortality and fill out correct head tags for brood stock and enters data into hatchery documents and fish books.
  • Identifies all targeted and non-targeted species, gender, stock origin, and condition of maturity when trapping and spawning adults.
  • Conducts remote trapping and spawning operations, including transport of equipment and gametes.
  • Fertilizes eggs with sperm, according to pre-determined ratios using established spawning protocols and HGMP requirements.
  • Supervises and instructs temporary employees and volunteers in the absence of leadership.
  • Calibrates formalin systems based on flows.
  • Receives eggs and samples and distributes them into rearing vessels at correct loadings as well as ponds fry according to proper TU’s.
  • Incubates eggs using a variety of vessels including shallow troughs, isolation buckets, upwelling incubators, and vertical trays.
  • Monitors dissolved oxygen levels to maintain proper carrying capacity of rearing units.
  • Loads fish for transport using a variety of methods such as: electric fish pump, brail, and crane.
  • Loads truck according to safe hauling densities, and utilizes proper oxygen levels and monitors fish during transport.
  • Actively works to maintain/use facility wide biosecurity, and ensures volunteers and members of the public follow biosecurity guidelines.
  • Monitors rearing units for signs of predation and ensures rearing areas are secure.
  • Requires a detailed knowledge of biological principles, hydrology, and fish ecology.
  • Scans fish for various tags using coded wire tag wands, pit tag detectors, and other tag-associated equipment.
  • Monitors water quality parameters using dissolved oxygen meters (calibrates when needed) and chemicals such as Hach kits to insure a safe rearing environment.
  • Performs fish inoculations, and medical or chemical treatments as prescribed by the Fish Health Specialist.


  • Work Setting, including hazards:   
    1. Hatchery is located at the Landsburg Dam.
    2. Wading in strong currents and inclement weather. Large trucks are required to be operated during many release events both day and night.
    3. Perform strenuous physical activities, follow instructions and complete assigned tasks, gather and compile data, use sound judgment, and assist in training entry level employees.
    4. Must be able to negotiate water in emergency situations.
    5. Outdoor work in all weather conditions; extreme heat, freezing cold, rain, wind, snow, walking on river, through trees/brush, gill netting, seining, gaffing.
    6. Walking, climbing, lifting, and carrying or moving 50lbs is frequent.
  • Schedule:   
    1. 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Monday – Friday.
    2. The work hours can vary greatly at different time of the year depending on the work schedule and weather conditions.
  • Travel Requirements: 
    1. Travel will be required in order to accomplish agency goals.
  • Tools and Equipment: 
    1. Perform mechanical tasks using power and hand tools: lawn care equipment, tractors, forklifts, welding equipment, egg picking machines, water sampling instruments, transport trucks, passenger vehicles, adult fish pumps, adult fish counters, CWT identification equipment, trash pumps, pressure washers, diesel generators, small gas engine, computers, and software.
  • Customer Interactions:
    1. Communicate effectively with public and volunteers.
    2. Interact with small community groups and individual constituents on a regular basis.
  • Standby:
    • Standby duties are currently assigned. These positions require standby, which means the employee is responsible for overseeing the facility for the remaining 16 hours of the day. While on standby this position will work ten days and be off four days.
  • Housing: 
    • Housing is not provided for this position.


  • One (1) year of experience as a Fish Hatchery Specialist 1 and successful completion of agency supervised training program.


  • An associate degree in fisheries technology or a closely allied field and one (1) year of experience performing fish culture duties in a hatchery.


  • Two (2) years of education towards a bachelor’s degree in fisheries or a closely allied field and one (1) year of experience performing fish culture duties in a hatchery.


  • Successful completion of a fish culture program from a vocational school and one (1) year of experience performing fish culture duties in a hatchery.

Please note: Three (3) years of experience performing a variety of fish culture duties in a hatchery will substitute for the required education.


  • A valid driver’s license is required.


  • Two- or four-year degree in Fisheries or closely associated field.

How to Apply
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:

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