Salary: $3,376.00 – $4,497.00 Monthly
Location: Clallam County – Forks, WA
Job Type: Seasonal
Closing Date: 8/8/2023 11:59 PM Pacific

Anticipated Appointment Length: Eight (8) Months
August 25th – April 7th  

Collect catch and angler effort information for salmon, steelhead, and other fish species via angler interviews and drive-around effort counts in WDFW District 16, which encompasses the Quillayute and Hoh basins. Participate in sampling and field studies that collect biological data in support of fisheries management – these duties are closely linked to WDFW’s mission and goals to preserve and protect wild fish while providing sustainable recreational opportunities.

With that in mind, 

Picture yourself conducting angler creel interviews to estimate catch of target species and incidental impacts to non-target species during freshwater recreational salmon and steelhead fisheries.

These are opportunities to sample salmon catch to obtain stock composition (DNA taken with scissors), age structure (scales taken with forceps), fish length (length taken by measuring device), and hatchery and natural-origin proportions (mark-status).

The optimal applicants are team players who take pride in their work, are motivated, dependable, respectful, and able to easily establish rapport. 

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

Our Freshwater Monitoring Technicians,

Creel sampling:  

  • Performs surveys to assess angling effort, counting angler vehicles and trailers at multiple, pre-determined river locations accessed by motor vehicle. Additional effort counts to count anglers may include floating sections of stream via pontoon or drift boat.
  • Contact anglers to conduct creel interviews, traveling by foot to contact bank anglers at river access points and monitoring boat ramps for groups of returning boat anglers. 
  • Samples all Chinook, coho salmon, and steelhead with electronic Coded Wire Tag (CWT) detection devices. 
  • Classifies, sorts, and enumerates marked (adipose fin-clipped) and unmarked salmon by CWT status. 
  • Uses a knife to remove snouts from CWT positive fish, which are used to assess stock specific impacts for fisheries modeling. 


  • Legibly record data from creel sampling. 
  • Accurately enter data to electronic devices. 
  • Review and tabulate data.


  • Work Setting, including hazards:
    1. Work is primarily conducted in the field, adverse weather and environmental conditions, long periods of squatting and walking through vegetation and in uneven terrain in and near streams and rivers to obtain angler interviews, climbing in and out of boats, sampling salmon in a boat, carrying, kneeling, occasionally lifting (up to 40 lbs. unassisted) containers of fish, working and standing in confined space, fish blood and slime, slippery surfaces, biting and stinging insects, use of knives.
    2. Contacting anglers requires driving and hiking to fishing areas or driving to creel locations via state, federal, and county roads, as well as local travel along streams on private (logging) roads throughout the district using a state vehicle. 
    3. May need to hike up to 5 miles or boat up to 10 miles of stream over slippery and uneven terrain to reach anglers – boating may include navigating up to class III whitewater and fieldwork includes snorkeling in cold, fast-flowing/whitewater conditions. 
    4. Must be able to negotiate water in emergency situations.
  • Schedule: 
    1. Typically, 8 to 10 hours per day, between 5:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. – all days during the week, including weekends and holidays with overtime required, as assigned. 
    2. Variable days with shifts up to 12 hours including early morning and late-night hours. 
    3. Highly unpredictable and irregular schedules at times to prosecute monitoring fisheries.  For example, be available by phone to staff from 6:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. to handle emerging situations and act as check-in at the end of the day. 
  • Travel Requirements: 
    1. Considerable driving is required via state, federal, and county roads, as well as local travel on private (logging) roads. 
    2. May have to shuttle State vehicles between Forks, Montesano, and Olympia. 
  • Tools and Equipment: 
    1. iPad, electronic sampling equipment (Coded Wire Tag (CWT) detector), knives, forceps, head lamp, measuring board, tally counter, totes/bins, paper forms, labels, scale cards, pencils, pens, clipboard, scissors, and copies of current recreational and commercial sampling manuals.
    2. The following clothing is supplied: WDFW apparel, gloves, rain gear and rubber boots/waders/hip boots, and Personal Floatation Devices (PDF) as needed. 
  • Customer Interactions:
    1. Interactions with co-workers from WDFW and co-managing Tribes, recreational anglers, the public during data collection, and provide basic information regarding fisheries resources, as well as agency programs and activities. 
    2. Provides a high level of customer service to anglers and the public – liaison to regional supervisor and enforcement on fishery violations observed in the field. 


  • Graduation from high school or GED, including one year of high school science AND Two (2) years of experience as a Scientific Technician 1.


  • Graduation from high school or GED including one 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.


  • A valid driver’s license. 


  • Experience sampling adult salmonids for marks and tags, including scanning fish for coded wire tags (CWT) and passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags. 
  • Experience using personal computers or mobile devices for data entry and writing to produce accurate and timely work products. 
  • Working knowledge of Excel and Word. 
  • Ability to identify saltwater and river stage adult salmonids to species. 
  • Ability to identify sex of adult salmonids. 
  • Experience conducting creel surveys. 
  • Rowing/rafting in rivers and streams.

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. 
  • Must be comfortable and able to follow game and angler trails to remote sites in periods of low light or mid-day to find and interview anglers. 
  • WDFW snorkel training certification, with completion within six (6) months of hire and renewal expected annually.

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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