Job Title: Permanent Fish Biologist 3 *01968-17
Opening Date/Time: Fri. 04/14/17 12:00 AM Pacific Time
Closing Date/Time: Sun. 04/23/17 5:00 PM Pacific Time
Salary: $4,208.00 – $5,522.00 Monthly
Job Type: Full Time – Permanent
Location: Grays Harbor County – Montesano, Washington
Department: Dept. of Fish and Wildlife

The Department of Fish and Wildlife has some of the most talented people in the natural resource field.  We celebrate and value diversity, appreciating that a workforce composed of those from different backgrounds and experiences creates an inclusive environment, strengthens positive relationships with the local community, and brings new perspectives and approaches to fulfilling the agency’s mission.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is dedicated to preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish,  wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable  recreational and commercial opportunities dependent on viable fish and wildlife populations.  Each day, WDFW employees facilitate fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities for millions of residents and visitors.  WDFW’s employees–field and laboratory biologists, geneticists, research scientists, hatchery professionals, policy experts, fully commissioned law enforcement officers, land stewards, lab technicians, property acquisition specialists, customer service representatives and others work throughout the state.  WDFW employees protect and restore critical habitat, strive to facilitate species recovery when necessary, and manage hundreds of fish and wildlife species.  WDFW employees maintain nearly a million acres of public wildlife lands. They interpret, apply and enforce state and federal laws and collaborate with stakeholders to protect fish and wildlife resources.  Find out more about us and the important work we are a part of at

This recruitment is for one (1) permanent full-time Fish Biologist 3 in the Fish Program, Marine Division.  The duty station for this position is the Region 6 Office located at 48 Devonshire Rd., Montesano, WA.

Within the Coastal Marine Fish Science Unit, under general direction,  this position plans, develops, and designs fishery independent research and recreational fishery monitoring studies of groundfish, directs the field operations; and provides scientific advice from research or study findings to advance the understanding of marine fish biology, and/or to support research assessments and fisheries management.

This position is a very critical step in maintaining healthy and diverse fish population and sustainable fishing opportunities.  These duties are closely linked to WDFW’s mission to ensure “Sustainable management of marine resources to maintain the economic well-being and sustainability of the state’s fishing industry and to enhance recreational and commercial fishing in the state and offshore waters.”

Direct the Coastal Marine Fish Research Unit to inventory biological and physical characteristics in coastal marine waters, and to develop and implement projects/programs for managing and enhancing marine fish resources and habitats.
Tasks include:

  • Prioritize, plan, coordinate, and implement all work assigned to the unit.
  • Design, under the lead of research scientist, multi-faceted biological research encompassing the coastal/ocean region (from the Washington/Oregon border to the Seiku River – Strait of San Juan de Fuca) and including any of the nearly 100 species subject to management in the PFMC Groundfish Fishery Management Plan and/or forage fish species subject to state management.
  • Analyze and interpret research data, and develop conclusions and recommendations in support of future research design, fishery stock assessments of fishery management.
  • Direct staff in the collection of data from fishery-independent ground or forage fish at-sea research projects on chartered commercial or recreational fishing vessels or agency-owned vessels.
  • Oversee the dockside sampling for coastal marine fish recreational fisheries to include the collection of biological information from groundfish catch.
  • Ensure sampling and survey protocols are consistent with research objectives and are followed in field operations.

Analyze and interpret the data; develop the conclusions and recommendations for research and management needs; and develop reports.
Tasks include:

  • Directs training of biologist and technicians in proper at-sea or dockside data collection procedures and data entry techniques.
  • Responsible or database development and maintenance.  Oversee data management processes, including data forms development, quality control, archiving.  Implement electronic data collection in the field.
  • Continue refinement and improvements of existing project databases; make the information more accessible and secure; improve efficient processing of field data, including capturing the dtat in digital format immediately.
  • Perform routine audits of data, ensure data accuracy.  Develop data forms. Develop and maintain archive procedures.  Train Technicians in proper field sampling and data entry techniques.  Enter and error-check data.
  • Write and publish final project reports
  • Write progress as required by research contracts
  • Present research findings at public meetings and scientific conferences or symposia.

Project management and Supervision
Tasks include:

  • Direct planning and monitoring of field work schedules across multiple projects to ensure efficient and full utilization of staff.
  • Ensure critical deadlines for reporting are met.
  • Initiate and develop contracts for chartered vessels, and moorage for agency vessels.
  • Acquire federal permits to conduct research on fish species of concern (rebuilding or ESA-listed).
  • Conduct fishing industry, stakeholder or public meetings.
  • Direct procurement and maintenance of equipment and supplies.
  • Direct coordination of volunteers used for research activities.
  • Coordinate research activities with International Halibut Commission, National Marine Fisheries Service-Northwest Science Center, or other partner agencies.
  • Communicate with fishers, processors, skippers and other to ensure project goals, objectives and schedules for sampling, tagging, or onboard observation are understood and met.
  • Responsible for staff supervision including, recruiting, hiring, training, and performance monitoring and evaluation; specifically, following personnel procedures and timelines for recruiting and interviewing candidates; maintaining accurate employee records and timesheets; tracking and coordinating employee schedules, ensuring staff are thoroughly briefed and trained for lab, dockside or at-sea duty terms of job tasks, safety, and/or survival and on-board conduct.
  • Create “SMART” goals for each direct report on team, and for team.
  • Establish personal workplace and team vision statements.
  • Estimate and track project expenditures for budget management.

Tasks Include:

  • Perform other duties as needed to achieve project goals.

Working Conditions
Office –lab based work typically 8-5, M-F or 4-10’s.  Highly variable and very demanding depending on activity, schedule flexibility crucial as work is dictated by ocean/weather conditions.  Position interacts with volunteers, recreational and commercial fishermen, environmental groups, fish buyers/processors, inter-agency scientist and mangers, and the general public.  A valid driver’s license.
Field work:
Field work schedule is 24/7, up to 80 hours per week at times.  High variable and very demanding depending on activity may require extended travel up to 14 days at a time to accomplish at-sea surveys, temporarily living in remote ports, aboard research vessels, or traveling to presentations/conferences related to marine fish science.   At-sea, recreational or commercial fishing docks, coastal beaches and estuaries, inland marine waters, laboratory, workshop, office.
At-sea: Onboard agency owned vessels or chartered vessels or commercial fishing vessels, extended trips require living on board vessel with limited or reduced accommodations (i.e., Bunking in shared space, water restrictions for bathing, basic cooking facilities).
Hazards include:  Rough seas, exposure to inclement to serve weather, vessel mechanical failure, wet, slippery decks and docks, exposure to specimen preservative chemicals, risk of puncture wounds and infection from tagging equipment or fish spines, repetitive stress injury from lagging and computer data entry.

This position is covered by a collective bargaining agreement between the State of Washington, Department of Fish & Wildlife, and the Washington Association of Fish and Wildlife Professionals (WAFWP).  As a condition of employment you must either join the union and pay union dues, or pay the union a representational or other fee within 30 days of the date you are put into pay status.

A Bachelor’s degree in Fisheries, Wildlife Management, Natural Resource Science or Environmental Science AND three year of professional experience in Fish Management or research, Wildlife Management or research, or Habitat Management or research. Twelve semester hours or eighteen-quarter hours of specific course work is required for certain positions. OR  A Master’s degree in the applicable science will substitute for one year of the required experience. A Ph.D in the applicable science will substitute for two years of the required experience. OR Two years as a Fish & Wildlife Biologist 2.

Preferred experience:

  • Proficient in MS Excel, Access and Word, GIS software, proprietary software for survey equipment.
  • Supervisory experience
  • Knowledge of applicable contract obligations
  • Knowledge of Marine organism identification
  • Knowledge/familiarity with commercial fishing, landing and processing operations; sport fishery operations.
  • Knowledge/familiarity with commercial and sport fishing regulations
  • Experience with fish sampling techniques and procedures
  • Experience with the operation of field and lab equipment and procedures
  • Ability to record and compile research data, using arithmetical and elementary statistical procedures
  • Ability to organize and present laboratory and field writing
  • Must be physical capable of working at sea without getting seasick to a degree that compromises the ability to fully and effectively complete  duties and tasks.  Must be able to tolerate being at-sea for up to 5 days per trip; climbing ladders, climbing on-board a vessel, walking and balancing on docks and vessels that are wet/slippery /steep/moving, repetitive lifting up to 50 pounds over a 8-10 hour work shift, working inclement weather, hearing and communicating over loud motors and other vessel equipment, communicating on a CB or VHF radio, reading computer monitors, average fine motor skills.
 Supplemental Information:
To 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 preferred qualifications and competencies of this position (generic cover letter will not be accepted). Include in your cover letter, information regarding:
  1. Describe your experience leading groundfish research or fishery monitoring projects, include project purpose and duration, and number of staff supervised.
  2. Briefly describe your proficiency using various software programs, cite specific skills.
  3. Describe your knowledge of commercial fishing gears and operations.
  4. Describe your knowledge of recreational fishing gears.
  5. Describe your experience working in unprotected coastal waters.
  • A current resume (please make it succinct)
  • Three professional references (personal references do not count as professional)

Please note:  Failure to follow the above application instructions will lead to disqualification.  Unsupported answers to supplemental questions may also lead to disqualification.  E-mailed documents will not be accepted in lieu of attaching your documents to the online profile.
Upon submission of your online application, you will immediately receive a confirming e-mail.  You will then be notified via e-mail of your status during the process.  In addition to the e-mail notifications, you can check the status of your application at any time by visiting your online profile at  Due to the high volume of applications that we receive, we ask your understanding and encourage you to use the online process and avoid calling for information.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife is an equal opportunity employer.  We strive to create a working environment that includes and respects cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation and gender identity diversity.  Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of disability, persons over 40 years of age, disabled and Vietnam era veterans and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply.  Persons needing accommodation in the application process or this announcement in an alternative format may call (360) 902-2276 or the Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) at (800) 833-6388.