Job Type: Temporary
Salary Details: 17-18.50/hr
Deadline: Feb 19, 2023

Fisheries Technicians perform duties related to the protection, preservation, propagation, and sampling of fish species and the preservation or enhancement of their habitat. They use knowledge of procedural requirements and processes to support the technical work of their unit. They provide practical technical support to research, operations or program administration efforts.

Position/Project Specifics
This is a seasonal position located at the Lower Granite Dam, close to Pullman, WA, working from March 25, 2023 until end of season (typically October 31, 2023) with an average of only four (4) hours per day (typically mornings).  However, one day per week from April until June, this position may do Gas Bubble Trauma (GBT) exams for which the technician will receive eight (8) hours for that day.

The fisheries technician is responsible for preparing for sampling activities and must be on-site at the specified time to set up the sampling/recirculation system: fill with water and anesthetic, clean recirculation filters and/or tail screens, and any other preparations as needed before crowding and sampling fish is scheduled to begin.

As fish enter the wet lab sorting trough, the fisheries technician enumerates the fish, identifying species, fin clips, elastomer tags, descaling, and symptoms of columnaris, scans the unclipped Chinook, Coho, and Sockeye for Coded Wire Tags and records this information on tally boards and hand logs. The fisheries technician ensures the sampling site and equipment are clean after each sample. Upon completion of sampling, the fisheries technician is expected to dewater the system and clean the lab.

Gas Bubble Trauma exams are conducted once per week from April until June. Training is given in Cook, Washington. The work is physically demanding and requires standing for long periods of time at the wet separator, collecting fish, anesthetizing the fish collected, and examining the fish under a dissecting microscope for signs of gas bubble trauma. This position also requires using proper lifting methods to lift and carry buckets of fish down a ramp and set of stairs, remove the netting and move heavy crowder screens through large holding tanks of water to facilitate fish sampling.

The above is intended to give a general description of the day-to-day work entailed.  There may be additional duties as assigned.

Position Duties

  • Administer anesthetic for the safe handling of endangered species for a regular sampling regimen.  Participate in sampling, sorting, and handling of fish. Assist in the fabrication, construction, and maintenance of systems.
  • Be on-site by 0600 hours to set up the recirculating system, clean tail screens and any other preparations as needed before crowding fish
  • Remove netting and move heavy crowder screens through large water holding tanks to facilitate fish sampling at 0700 hours.
  • Dewater system after sampling is done and clean lab.
  • Once per week, examine 100 fish for GBT.

Essential Functions (The functions listed below are characteristic of the type and level of work associated with this group and pay band. They are not all-inclusive. Individual positions may perform some or all and other similar work.)

  • Participate in surveying juvenile anadromous fish, fish collection, holding, and release activities, including sampling, sorting, handling, and anesthetizing fish. Make standardized observations such as species identification, length, signs of diseases or pathogens, fin clips, or tags.
  • Collect and organize data such as air pressure, water quality, debris levels, etc.
  • Monitor the status of facility systems and equipment. Assist in developing, implementing, constructing, and maintaining systems recommendations.
  • Make regular facility inspections, including, for example, dewatering equipment, pumps, flumes, gates, tanks, screens, filters, gate wells, and/or tag interrogation equipment. Monitor and maintain water quality levels. Record findings and adjustments made. Respond appropriately and immediately to emergencies. 
  • Perform precision aging of various fish species in a laboratory setting. Record age and growth data in the appropriate format.
  • Summarize and input biological or habitat data on field forms, electronic data loggers, and/or desktop computers.

Knowledge Required by the Position
At the lower end of the range, employees use knowledge of basic arithmetic, reading, writing, and data collection to perform routine or repetitive tasks. 

At the upper end of the position range, employees use knowledge of the basic principles and protocols of fish biology to make readings, measurements, and observations; execute tests; collect samples, etc. If complex equipment systems are operated, the employee has the knowledge to perform calibrations or adjustments to achieve desired results. 

Mandatory Skills    

  • Compile and collect neat and accurate data 
  • Fish Species ID Skills 
  • Oral communication skills               
  • Written communication skills
  • Lift 40 – 50 lbs.

Additional Desirable Skills

  • Repair nets (seine, gill, etc.)      
  • CPR/First Aid                                                
  • Able to swim                                         
  • Using fish keys
  • Operate handheld data recorder         
  • Specific software skills (spreadsheet, word processing, database, GIS, statistical)

Physical Demands
Demands can range from moderate –where there is walking, climbing stairs and ladders, reaching, lifting, bending, and strenuous sweeping– to rigorous.  In the latter case, the incumbent must be able to handle buckets of water or gear weighing up to 50 pounds.  Long daily periods of standing may be required. 

Work Environment
A portion of the work is performed in an office setting with adequate lighting, heating, and ventilation. The majority is performed in fish processing labs, fish holding areas, and/or in the field. Incumbents may work on narrow, elevated walkways and platforms that are over or adjacent to water. 

Minimum Qualification Requirements
A range of experience and education may be presented.  At the lower end of the range, candidates must present six months of General Experience* OR one year of education above the high school level that included at least six semester hours in any combination of scientific or technical courses.  An equivalent combination of experience and education is also qualifying.

At the upper end of the range, candidates must present one year of Specialized Experience** OR a 4-year course of study above high school leading to a bachelor’s degree with a major or at least 24 semester hours of coursework in any combination of scientific or technical courses.  An equivalent combination of experience and education is also qualifying.

*General Experience is (1) any type of work that demonstrates the applicant’s ability to perform the position’s work or (2) experience that provides familiarity with biological sciences or the processes of the biological sciences.

**Specialized Experience is the experience that equips the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the duties of the position successfully and is typically in or related to the work of the position being filled.

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