Salary: $2,957.00 – $4,324.00 Monthly
Location: Cowlitz County – Other, WA
Job Type: Full Time – Permanent
Department: Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
Job Number: 2023-04375
Closing: 4/4/2023 11:59 PM Pacific

Fish Program – Hatcheries Division 
Ariel, Washington – Cowlitz County 


Support salmon, steelhead, and trout conservation while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational opportunities in the state of Washington!

We are recruiting to hire at the Fish Hatchery Specialist 1 or 2 level, and we will train a Fish Hatchery Specialist 1 up to the Fish Hatchery Specialist 2.

Depending on which level you are hired at, your salary range will be as follows:

Fish Hatchery Specialist 1 – $2,957.00 –  $3,915.00
Fish Hatchery Specialist 2 – $3,246.00 – $4,324.00

Picture yourself performing scientific, technical, and related maintenance duties at the Speelyai Hatchery, rearing anadromous (fish born in freshwater who spend most of their lives in saltwater and return to freshwater to spawn) and non-anadromous species of fish.

This is an opportunity to perform sound fish culture practices and make sound fish culture decisions to meet WDFW program goals. 

With your experience you will calculate and feed fish according to pond populations and weight samples, adjusting feed size and amount fed as needed.

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.

Performs Fish Culture:  

  • Monitors fish behavior, health, egg, and fish production. 
  • Disinfects and enumerates (counts) 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.
  • 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.
  • Determines proper number of adults needed to meet program goals using fecundity based on egg size and species fertilized.
  • Collect adult mortality and fill out correct head tags for brood stock and enter data into hatchery documents and fish books.

Record Keeping and Reporting: 

  • Proficient use of computers and software to perform various aspects of hatchery work, including data entry, record keeping, reporting (both within and outside agency).
  • Accurately fills out and submits agency forms such as fish transfer tickets, hatchery invoice forms and other relevant forms.

Operation and Maintenance of Facility and Equipment:

  • Maintains proper water flow and rearing environments.
  • Monitors and maintains facility support systems i.e., diesel generators, domestic and alarm panels, and other support systems.


  • Work Setting, including hazards: 
    1. Work is performed outside in all weather conditions and office work when required. 
    2. Work includes standing, walking on uneven terrain, climbing up and down ladders, walking on 24-inch walkways up and down raceways. 
    3. Lifting 50 pound bags of fish feed frequently, occasionally carrying five-gallon buckets weighing 5-20 pounds. 
    4. Must be able to negotiate water in emergency situations. 
  • Schedule: 
    1. Typically, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Monday – Friday – the work hours can vary greatly at different times of the year depending on the work schedule and weather conditions.
  • Standby:  
    1. Standby duties are not currently assigned – standby entails the employee being responsible for overseeing the facility for the remaining 16 hours of the day after the regular 8-hour shift. While on standby this position will work ten (10) days on and be off four (4) days.
    2. All applicants applying for this position should understand that standby is a requirement for all positions in the Fish Hatchery Specialist series.  
    3. Management may determine it is necessary to assign standby in order to accomplish the goals and objectives of the agency and as necessary to protect the resources of the agency and if assigned, it will be a requirement of the position.
  • Housing: 
    1. Housing is not provided for this position.
  • Travel Requirements: 
    1. Travel may be required in order to accomplish agency goals.
  • Tools and Equipment: 
    1. Hand & power tools, lawn care equipment, tractors, forklifts, welding equipment, egg picking machines, water sampling instruments, transport trucks, passenger vehicles, adult fish pumps, adult fish counters, Coded Wire Tag (CWT) identification equipment, trash pumps, pressure washers, diesel generators, small gas engine, computers, and software.
  • Customer Interactions: 
    1. Communicate effectively with public and volunteers – interact with small community groups and individual constituents on a regular basis.

This Fish Hatchery Specialist 2 (In-Training) series provides mentoring and career development opportunities for candidates with limited hatchery and fish culture experience.  

Candidates will be hired as a Fish Hatchery Specialist 1 or 2, dependent on skills and experience.

Upon satisfactory completion of the 12-month in-training plan, the selected candidate will automatically be promoted to a Fish Hatchery Specialist 2.

Required Qualifications for the Fish Hatchery Specialist 1:

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

  • An Associate’s degree in fisheries technology, biology, or a closely allied field.


  • Three (3) years of education towards a Bachelor’s degree in fisheries, biology, or a closely allied field.


  • Successful completion of a fish culture program from a vocational school.

Required Qualifications for the Fish Hatchery Specialist 2 (Goal Class):

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

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


  • An Associate’s degree in fisheries technology or 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, biology or 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. 


  • Valid driver’s license is required. 


  • Two (2) or four (4) year degree in Fisheries or a closely associated field.

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 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:

An image without description