Salary: $2,957.00 – $3,821.00 Monthly
Location: Okanogan County – Other, WA
Job Type: Seasonal
Department: Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
Job Number: 2022-18185


Fish Program 
Twisp, Washington – Okanogan County
Anticipated Season Length: 7.5 months
March 16 – October 31 

Take on an opportunity that has the best of both worlds – working outdoors and fish! 

Sample juvenile salmonids and other fishes using various methods including angling, electrofishing, and netting.

Conduct spawning ground surveys, measure redd characteristics (dimensions habitat variables, flow characteristics), and navigate rivers in pontoon boats. 

Picture yourself performing field work related to the evaluation of hatchery programs and population monitoring activities in the Methow River basin. 

With your experience you will sample adult steelhead and other fishes at the Twisp River weir to collect and record biological data.

You are excited to inspect, maintain and repair remote Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tag antenna arrays via snorkeling.

We are seeking a candidate with demonstrated values matching those of WDFW: Accountability, Service, Professionalism, Integrity, Respect, and Empathy (ASPIRE).

Our Fish Sampler and Spawning Ground Surveyor, 

Conducts spawning ground surveys:

  • Measure redd characteristics (dimensions, habitat variables, flow characteristics). 
  • Record observations related to spawning (identification of species, origin, and sex of spawners). 
  • Navigate rivers in pontoon boats and hike up to ten (10) miles per day in rough terrain and inclement weather. 

Conducts remote sampling for juvenile fishes:

  • Sample juvenile salmonids and other fishes using various methods including angling, electrofishing, and netting, 
  • Usage of Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tagging on native salmonids
  • Identify various species of juvenile fishes and assist with daily maintenance, preparation, and storage of sampling equipment.

Samples adult steelhead and other fishes at the Twisp River weir:

  • Collect and record biological data from live adult fish (scale samples, length, sex, tissue samples, and hatchery marks).
  • Safely handle and tag adult and juvenile salmonids. 
  • Euthanize surplus hatchery steelhead, collect whole fillets from fish for calibration of fatmeter. 
  • Collect and count eggs from surplus females and pre-spawn mortalities, and implant PIT tags and Floy tags.

Operates rotary screw traps: 

  • Ensure proper operation of rotary screw traps including installation and maintenance.

Maintain remote Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tag antenna arrays:
  • Assist with the construction, deployment, maintenance, and repair of remote PIT tag antenna arrays throughout the Methow River basin.


  • Work Setting, including hazards:
    • Spawning Ground Surveys – are performed during periods of cold and wet conditions (Steelhead) or hot and dry conditions (Chinook) with prolonged exposure to the elements. Requires walking in uneven and slippery stream terrain for up to ten (10) miles a day and commonly in remote locations -pontoon boats are used when high discharge precludes walking in the river. Required to navigate large hydraulic river features with unstable log and debris dams and travel to remote survey sites by snowmobile/ATV in the spring. Must be able to negotiate water in emergency situations.
    • Remote Fish Sampling – is conducted in remote field locations and typically requires off-trail hiking through dense riparian areas where various hazards are present such as tripping hazards. Operation of electrofishing equipment can result in exposure to dangerous electrical currents Carrying a backpack with sampling gear or a bucket full of water weighing up to 50 lbs. while walking on uneven and slippery river terrain is required on a daily basis. 
    • Weir Trapping – includes long days (12-hour days are common) and inclement weather. Collecting fish from the weir traps and cleaning of the weir traps requires walking across icy platforms and immersion in cold, swift, waist deep water for extended periods of time – personal flotation devices should be worn at all times. Frequently lifting and carrying fish boots and buckets full of water will be necessary. 
    • Smolt Trapping – navigate a rope-guided boat across the river to access the smolt traps during periods of high water- may experience periods of instability, random movement and can at times be very icy. Frequent noise exposure occurs due to the operation of generators and water pumps. Occasionally lifting and carrying buckets full of water, up and down ramps, is necessary.
    • Maintaining PIT Tag Interrogation Sites – maintaining interrogation sites can vary from fixing electrical issues to using snorkeling techniques to replace underwater equipment. Replacing antennas commonly requires carrying large and heavy objects into and out of riverbed locations. A portion of the work will be performed in the water – occasionally requiring the use of snorkeling with dry suits. 
    • Other Sampling Tasks – work will be performed in a hatchery setting during brood stock collection and spawning activities. Some brood stock collection may be performed at Wells Dam. Must be able to occasionally lift bags of fish carcasses weighing up to 75 lbs., and other sampling equipment weighing less than 25 lbs.  
  • Schedule:
    • Typically, 40 hours per week – days worked will vary by week. Work hours range from 8 hours to 12 hours depending on workload.
    • During peak work periods, working nights, weekends, and holidays may be required.   
  • Travel Requirements:
    • Travel is required to field locations throughout the watershed to accomplish project duties.
    • Occasional travel may be required to attend meetings, trainings, or gather supplies from distant locations. 
    • Travel to some sites may require snowshoes, skis, or snowmobiles.
  • Tools and Equipment:
    • Pontoon boats, Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tag detectors, snowmobiles, ATV’s, power and hand tools, computers, GPS units, sharp needles, fishhooks, tweezers, Personal floatation device (PDF), Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) fatmeters, PIT tag readers, radio telemetry receivers, sharp tools (fillet knives, tweezers, needles), exposure to anesthesia chemicals (e.g., MS-222), ethanol, metal detectors, and safety equipment. 
  • Customer Interactions:
    • Occasional – candidates should be comfortable, professional, and confident working amongst professionals from other agencies and the public. 


  • 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 or nine quarter 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.
  • WDFW snorkel training and certification within six (6) months of hire and renewal expected annually.


  • A related degree in fisheries, wildlife, environmental, or natural resource sciences.  


  • Handling, sampling, and tagging adult and juvenile salmonids.
  • Conducting spawning ground surveys for anadromous salmonids. 
  • Collecting biological data.
  • Capturing juvenile salmonids by angling and electrofishing. 
  • Navigating rivers in pontoon boats.
  • Using Microsoft Access, Word, and Excel. 

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.

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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