Salary: $34,368.00 – $44,412.00 Annually
Job Type: Full Time – Non-Permanent
Anticipated Appointment Length: 8 Months
 December 27, 2021 – August 27, 2022
Closing: 11/17/2021 11:59 PM Pacific

See full details at

Our Columbia River Technician, 

  • Deploys setlines to capture, tag, remove fin tissue clips, and record biological data off White Sturgeon caught during stock assessments conducted throughout the Columbia River.
  • Conducts plankton tows to capture Eulachon eggs and larvae on the Columbia River and tributaries.
  • Deploys and retrieve acoustic receivers in Washington bays and estuaries for Green Sturgeon monitoring.
  • Works aboard commercial fishing vessels to tag and collect biological data off White Sturgeon and Green Sturgeon.
  • Assists with lamprey field work.
  • Processes Eulachon field samples in a laboratory using microscopes and other equipment to count larvae and obtain biological data from adult fish.
  • Collects water samples for Eulachon eDNA analysis.
  • Conducts White Sturgeon creel surveys on the Columbia River and tributaries.
  • Conducts creel surveys on the Cowlitz River during the Eulachon recreational fishery.
  • Assists with biological sampling of commercial and/or test fisheries for White Sturgeon and Eulachon.


  • Work Setting, including hazards: 
    1. Primarily outdoor work under potentially inclement weather conditions, walking steep or rugged shorelines, riverbanks, along highways, and on boat docks while performing creel surveys.
    2. Riding in boats to deploy and retrieve numerous types of sampling gear and tagging fish – work includes occasionally lifting/handling fish and sampling gear that weigh up to 70 lbs. without assistance.  
    3. Driving a truck, which can include towing and launching research vessels over 20 feet in length.
  • Schedule:   
    1. 40 hours per week, which may include days, nights, weekends, holidays and overtime as needed.   
    2. Workload demands may require work outside the assigned work hours and adjustment of work schedules.
  • Travel Requirements: 
    1. Frequent travel to field work locations involving week-long overnight stays.
  • Tools and Equipment: 
    • Vehicles, motorized davits (small crane on board a ship) for retrieving Sturgeon and Eulachon sampling gear, electronic data collection devices, hand tools, Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tag injectors, PIT tag detector, acoustic telemetry transmitters and receivers, instruments to conduct surgical biopsies and tag insertions, knives, hemostats, scale cards, snout labels, Coded Wire Tag (CWT) wands, measuring tapes, and binoculars.
    • Lab work will require the use of dissecting scope and tools, counters, and safety gear for handling samples stored in alcohol or formalin.
  • Customer Interactions:
    1. Interviewing anglers, collecting data from their fish, answering questions regarding fishery status and fishing regulations.



  • 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.

  • Valid driver’s license.

Working knowledge of:

  • Natural habitats of fresh and salt water commercial and sport fish species.
  • Fish spawning habits.
  • Commercial and sport fishing methods and gear.

Skills and Abilities:

  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively with the public.
  • Ability to handle live sturgeon and collect and record appropriate data.


  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, Outlook, and basic computer file management.

Experience with: 

  • The various aspects of the Department’s complex multi-agency sturgeon and eulachon research and monitoring projects.
  • Conducting creel surveys.
  • Sturgeon tagging.
  • Deploying and retrieving acoustic receiver arrays.  Basic boat and boat engine maintenance.
  • Working aboard a fishing or research vessel.
  • The following equipment:
    • Setline gear.
    • Standard sized plankton net and gear used for collecting Eulachon eggs and larvae.
    • Laboratory equipment used to observe and enumerate Eulachon eggs and larvae. 

Ability to:  

  • Identify White and Green Sturgeon, Eulachon, and common salmonid and warm water species of the Columbia River.
  • Perform the following sampling procedures:
    • Accurate length and weight measurements on live fish.
    • Implementation of PIT tags using a PIT tag injector.
    • Hard-part sample collection for age analysis.
    • Genetic sample collection.

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 current resume. 
  • Three professional references. 


On Monday August 9, 2021, Governor Inslee enacted Proclamation 21-14 which requires that all employees of all state agencies not headed by an elected official be fully vaccinated with a recommended COVID-19 vaccine by October 18, 2021 as a condition of employment. Fully vaccinated includes the two-week waiting period after the last shot in each series, or single shot, is given. If hired for this or any position at WDFW, you will be required to provide verification of COVID vaccination. A list of acceptable documents to provide verification can be reviewed here. Vaccination acceptable documents link (Download PDF reader) (Download PDF reader)

The Department of Fish and Wildlife’s priority during the Covid-19 health crisis is to keep our staff, candidates, and the public safe.  We are hiring and encourage you to apply to open positions. We have transitioned to a virtual recruitment process, to include web-based interviews.

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: