Salary: $2,957.00 – $3,915.00 Monthly
Location: Lewis County – Other, WA
Job Type: Seasonal
Department: Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
Job Number: 2023-05306
Closing: 5/2/2023 11:59 PM Pacific

Fish Program
Toledo, Washington – Lewis County
Anticipated Season Length: 10 months
August 1 – May 31

Gain valuable skills and hands on experience conducting spring and fall Chinook, steelhead, and coho creel surveys in the mainstem lower Cowlitz River! Monitor the natural origin of fall Chinook populations and engage in fieldwork to estimate harvest, and hatchery and wild salmonid proportions in the fishery. If this seems like a great opportunity for you, apply today and start your next adventure with WDFW!

Picture yourself assisting with the handling and sampling of live and dead fish at traps and weirs

This is an opportunity to systematically and biologically sample hatchery broodstock at Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery.

With your experience you will identifyenumerate (count), handle, scan for Coded Wire Tags (CWT) and Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags, and biologically sample sport caught salmonids.

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.

Conducts sport creel sampling surveys: 

  • Interviews boat and shore anglers by conducting creel surveys in the lower Cowlitz River.  
  • Collects harvest and encounter data of both natural origin (NOR) and hatchery origin (HOR) salmonids caught in fishery – includes natural origin (NOR) fall Chinook 
  • Collects survey data using an iPad. 

Performs hatchery broodstock biological sampling: 

  • Scans all spawned fish with a Coded Wire Tag (CWT) detection wand and collects scale samples from a proportion of spawned fish.
  • Enters data into Panasonic Touch Pad.  

Assists with sorting, handling, and transporting live fish at traps and weirs:

  • Sorts, samples, and transports natural origin (NOR) coho and winter steelhead at the North Toutle Fish Collection Facility (TFCF).

Conducts spawning ground and carcass surveys: 

  • Conducts adult salmonid spawning ground stream surveys on the Cowlitz River and its tributaries.  

Completes data entry: 

  • Collects field data using electronic devices – such as an iPad or touchpad. 


  • Work Setting, including hazards:
    • Approximately 90% fieldwork- includes exposure and long periods of collecting data in inclement weather conditions, handling odorous salmon carcasses, navigating wet slippery ground, walking along streams up to six (6) miles per day, climbing up and down steep and slippery stream banks.   
    • Expected to lift (with or without assistance, as needed) large, dead, putrid fish, typically up to 30 pounds daily and repetitively carry loads up to 30 pounds short distances over rough terrain.  
    • Must be able to negotiate water in emergency situations.
  • Schedule:
    • Typically, Saturday – Wednesday, 8 hours per day, 40 hours total per week.  
  • Travel Requirements:
    • Daily travel to and from field locations is required – little to no overnight travel.  
  • Tools and Equipment:
    • Basic hand and carpentry tools, gaffs, machetes, winches, pulleys, 4×4 vehicles, boat and motors, Global Positioning Systems (GPS). 
  • Customer Interactions:
    • Interacts with the public, personnel from other state agencies, and local landowners.


  • 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.


  • Basic operation of a personal computer. 
  • Ability to do basic functions in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Access. 


  • Valid driver’s license – driving record abstract may be requested at time of interview.


Ability to:

  • Identify salmonids, both adult and juvenile forms.
  • Identify salmonid redds. 
  • Operate handheld GPS and data logger devices.
  • Obtain basic CPR/First Aid certification.         
  • Work alone and/or with others

Knowledge of: 

  • Fish marking/tagging techniques and protocols.
  • Fishery monitoring and sampling.
  • Coded Wire Tag (CWT) and Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tag detector operation. 
  • Advanced use of Microsoft Excel and Access.

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. 

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 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: