Salary: $4,892.00 – $6,908.00 Monthly
Location: Skagit County – Other, WA
Job Type: Full Time – Permanent
Remote Employment: Flexible/Hybrid
Job Number: 2023-06804
Department: Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
Opening Date: 05/19/2023
Closing Date: 6/4/2023 11:59 PM Pacific

As a senior biologist, this position independently plans, develops, designs, and directs fisheries monitoring and assessments in District 14 in the Nooksack, Samish, Skagit and basins and possibly San Juan Islands. This position will regularly collaborate and coordinate with intradepartmental and interdepartmental WDFW staff, resource co-managers, County and Federal officials, and the public stakeholders to report observed and predicted catch, and to make informed decisions on resource issues that have an impact on a stock or stocks and their habitat.

This is an opportunity to gather critical information for fisheries management by monitoring sport fishery impacts to salmon and steelhead populations in Western Washington.

With your experience, you will design, implement, and manage sportfishing monitoring studies to evaluate angler effort and catch, including harvest, in WDFW managed recreational fisheries.

In this dynamic role, represent WDFW and/or the District 14 Biologist on fishery monitoring issues in discussions and at meetings with comanaging tribes, State, Federal, County and hydropower utility biologists and/or stakeholders. 

We are seeking a candidate with experience monitoring fishery resources, project management skills, and demonstrated values matching those of WDFW: Accountability, Service, Professionalism, Integrity, Respect, and Empathy.

Our Sportfish Monitoring Biologist will,

  • Collaborate with area biologists on planned or emergent fisheries monitoring needs. 
  • Under general direction: design, plan, develop, implement, direct, and participate in statistically defensible fishery monitoring studies and assessments.
  • Plan, direct, and adapt activities of staff for collection of fishing effort and catch
  • Work with and organize collection of data coming in from numerous personnel spread over a large area.
  • Facilitate data entry, review, edit, and finalization. 
  • Analyze data and estimate numbers of target and bycatch species caught.
  • Report potential bycatch problems in season to senior agency staff.
  • Maintain line of communication with agency enforcement to keep them informed of fishery violations observed during the fishery.   
  • Annually report total handlings of ESA listed species designees. 
  • Assess efficacy of monitoring and design and evaluate potential tweaks or changes to the study design that could improve results of future creel studies, and incorporate those results.  
  • Write or present verbal in-season and post season reports. Hire, train, and supervise biologists and technicians necessary to perform statistically valid creels in one or more watersheds within District 14. 
  • Sample, and train subordinate staff to sample, and identify catch. 
  • Sampling may include, fork length, sex, scales, CWT, PIT tag, Elastomer tag, and collecting tissues samples and or snouts.
  • Independently plan and assign day to day activities of subordinate employees.
  • Monitor and evaluate performance of employees and regularly mentor to keep employee skills and work quality as high as possible.
  • Collaborate with other biologists in the home district, or beyond, as needed, to determine which fisheries studies are needed, providing support in the design and implementation of planned or emergent fisheries monitoring needs.


  • Work Setting, including hazards:
    • All weather conditions, from dry and hot to extreme cold and snow.
    • Hiking over very difficult terrain both in and out of moving water long distances while carrying gear.
    • Boating in rivers, streams, and lakes and possibly marine areas. Boating may include class 3 whitewater.
    • Flying in fixed wing and helicopter aircraft performing fisheries monitoring tasks. Will be required to perform low level flight duties in fixed wing or helicopter aircraft for assessment and monitoring activities.  
    • General hazards include but are not limited to, strains, sprains, breaks, scratches, lacerations, infections, animal encounters, hypothermia, and drowning.
    • Office work may consist of long sedentary periods and eye strain from computer screens.
    • Must be able to negotiate water in emergency situations.
  • Schedule:
    • Generally, Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM.
    • Night, weekend, and holiday hours will at times be required.
    • Must be able to work highly unpredictable and irregular schedules at times to prosecute monitoring fisheries.  For example, be available by phone to staff from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM to handle emerging situations and act as check-in at the end of the day.
    • In this role, the incumbent must be able to drive to the work site if the situation warrants it.  
  • Travel Requirements:
    • Includes overnight stays in hotels with air or surface travel for meetings.
    • Possibly camping for remote field work.  
  • Tools and Equipment:
    • Up to 14 hours daily in chest waders.
    • Must be able to fly in small aircraft and helicopters to enumerate fishery effort.
    • Must be able to drive extended periods to remote field sites or withstand periods of gridlock while navigating city environments.        
  • Customer Interactions:
    • Regular interaction with other WDFW and State biologists and researchers as well as tribal administration, biologists, and staff, County and Federal biologists, staff, and researchers, and public utility staff and biologists.
    • Position will frequently interact with the public and will be expected to remain calm and professional during tense and combative interactions with passionate opinionated resource users.


  • Must have three (3) or more years of professional experience in fish management or fish research.


  • Valid driver’s license.

Proficiency in:

  • Microsoft Excel.
  • Microsoft Word.

Ability to:

  • Differentiate all life stages of pacific salmonids required.   
  • Be comfortable working alone or with a partner in remote and isolated environments in all weather conditions, and in swift moving water for periods up to 14 hours.   
  • Interact and maintain professionalism with colleagues, peers, and the public regardless of intensity of interaction.  
  • Work in an office for long periods of time.
  • Locate, handle, and sample salmonid carcasses regardless of severity of state of decay.  
  • Effectively report and/or present results and resource information in writing or verbally. 


  • Position will be expected to maintain current certification for first aid including CPR. Agency will provide any needed training. 
  • Requires completion of both “basic flight” and “water ditching and survival” training before working aboard small aircraft.
  • Successful completion of agency training and/or certification for assigned watercraft dependent on supervisory direction, position need and training availability


  • Bachelor’s degree in fisheries preferred. However, candidates with degrees in wildlife management, natural resource science, or environmental science are acceptable. 
    1. Experience can substitute for college education. 
  • Five (5) or more cumulative years of professional experience in fish management or research preferred.
    1. Professional experience will be defined as work for a government agency, tribe, academic institution, or NGO in a related field, and    
  • Extensive sport fishing experience, or experience working with sport fishers. 
    1. Extensive familiarity with sport fishing methods for salmon and trout, gear, and angler community would be very helpful for this position. 
  • Experience and ability to follow game and angler trails to remote sites in periods of low light or mid-day to find and interview anglers. 
  • Comfort and experience working in, on, and around swift water (streams and river). Agency will provide any needed training. 
  • Three or more years of experience directly supervising or directing or leading and/or training staff.
  • Experience operating jet boats/sleds 
  • Experience using “Program R for data summarization and analysis
  • Enjoys working on computers and comfortable learning new software.
  • Familiarity or experience working with statistics
  • Familiarity of principles of scientific study design 
  • Rowing/Rafting in rivers and streams.
  • First aid certified.

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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