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Creel Surveyor & Smolt Trap Technician - Scientific Technician 2 - Non-Permanent - *03204-23


Fish Program – Hatchery-Wild Interactions
 Twisp, Washington – Okanogan County 

Anticipated Appointment Length – 6 months
 April 3, 2023 – September 29, 2023 

Perform a variety of field and office work related to the implementation of a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation plan for salmon and steelhead hatchery programs in the Methow River Basin!

We are seeking an outgoing individual interested in conducting angler interviews on the upper Columbia River salmon fisheries and assisting with the operation and maintenance of smolt traps.  

Electronic Data Collection – Credit: Danny Warren 

With that in mind, 

Picture yourself conducting in-stream fish collection through hook and line, broodstock collection, and assisting with Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) antenna maintenance. 

This is an opportunity to participate in Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tagging and collects biological information from target and non-target species captured during smolt trapping.

You thrive on building collaboration and teamwork and are excited to interact with WDFW staff, biologists, and the public in your day-to-day operations. 

We are seeking a candidate with demonstrated values matching those of WDFW: Accountability, Service, Professionalism, Integrity, Respect, and Empathy (ASPIRE).
Chinook Salmon – Credit: David Price 

Our Creel Surveyor & Smolt Trap Technician, 

Conducts creel surveys on a popular upper Columbia River salmon fishery:
  • Conducts angler interviews and effort counts to evaluate the effects of sport fishery on fish populations. 
  • Gathers biological data from harvested fish including lengths, Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) codes, scales, and snouts.
Assists with the operation and maintenance of smolt traps: 
  • Ensures proper operation of rotary screw traps including installation and maintenance. 
  • Collects juvenile salmonid abundance data for estimating basin-wide natural smolt production. 
  • Performs proper species identification and conducts mark and recapture trials to estimate trap efficiency.
Performs Data Entry: 
  • Ensures data is being recorded accurately into established databases – requires use of Microsoft Excel, Access, and Word.

Work Setting, including hazards:
  • Smolt Trapping – requires working in inclement weather conditions, navigating a rope-guided boat during periods of high water to access traps, and being on floating platforms that experience periods of instability, random movement, and inclement weather. Frequent noise exposure will occur due to the operation of generators and water pumps. Must be able to negotiate water in emergency situations.
  • Fish Sampling – requires lifting and carrying buckets full of water of approximately 40 lbs. multiple times a day – occasionally up and down ramps. Must be able to occasionally lift weights of up to 75 lbs. when assembling smolt traps. 
  • Creel Surveys – requires driving for long periods of time and working in inclement weather conditions.  
  • 24/7 Work Schedule – typically 40 hours per week and requires working weekends and days off during the week.   
  • April – June: The night schedule during smolt trapping duties is typically 10:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m. for 4 nights followed by a 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. shift. 
  • July – September: The daytime schedule during creel duties can vary based on assigned tasks. 
  • During peak work periods working nights, weekends, holidays, and overtime will be required. 
Travel Requirements:
  • Travel is required to field locations throughout the watershed to accomplish project duties.
Tools and Equipment:
  • Basic hand and power tools, water pumps, generators, computers, fish sampling equipment such as angling equipment, Coded-Wire Tag (CWT) detectors, knives, scissors, tweezers, Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tag detectors and Anesthetic chemicals (MS-222). 
  • Agency will provide waders, boots, lifejackets, hard hats, hearing protection, neoprene gloves, and other protective equipment as necessary.      
Customer Interactions:
  • Interacts with supervisors and technicians within unit – constant interaction with the public can be expected. 

  • 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.
  • Valid Driver’s License. 

  • Bachelor’s degree in fisheries, wildlife management, natural resource science, or environmental science.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Excel, Word, and Access.
  • Working knowledge of rotary smolt trapping programs.
  • Identifying and collecting biological data from migratory Pacific salmonids as well as local non-target taxa.
  • Conducting creel surveys.
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.

WDFW requires all employees to be fully vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment. You will be required to provide proof of vaccination as part of the hiring process. Please do not upload your vaccination documentation with your application materials – your vaccination status will be verified by your supervisor before you will be allowed to work. Exemptions may be granted for religious or medical purposes.

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 cover letter describing how you meet the qualifications of this position (Generic cover letter will not be accepted).
  • A current resume. 
  • Three professional references. 

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:

Learn about our agency and the perks of working for WDFW!
The Washington 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. We value demonstrated skill in living WDFW values of Accountability, Service, Professionalism, Integrity, Respect, and Empathy (ASPIRE).

WDFW employees may be eligible for the following:
Medical/Dental/Vision for employee & dependent(s), Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), Vacation, Sick, and other Leave*, 11 Paid Holidays per year*, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Tuition Waiver, Long Term Disability & Life Insurance, Deferred Compensation Programs, Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP), Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA), Employee Assistance Program, Commute Trip Reduction Incentives (Download PDF reader), Combined Fund Drive, SmartHealth.

This position is in the bargaining unit represented by the Washington Association of Fish & Wildlife Professionals and is subject to the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the State of Washington, Department of Fish & Wildlife, and the Washington Association of Fish & Wildlife Professionals.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Employer

To take advantage of veteran preference, please do the following:
  • Email a copy of your DD214 (Member 4 copy), NGB 22 or USDVA signed verification of service letter to
  • Subject line should include recruitment number, position, and Vet (for example: #10155 Biologist 1 – Veteran)
  • Include your name as it appears on your application in
To take advantage of military spouse preference, please do the following:
  • Notify us of your military spouse status by email at  
  • Subject line should include recruitment number, position, and MS (for example: #10155 Biologist 1 – MS)
  • Include your name as it appears on your application in
Note: Please blackout any PII (personally identifiable information) data such as social security numbers. For further information, please contact us at
As part of WDFW’s efforts to advance respectful and inclusive work environments, the Agency expects inclusivity as part of our professional interactions and communications. Therefore, we want to ensure that all individuals feel welcome, are treated fairly and respectfully. All staff are empowered to fully contribute to serving their work unit, Agency, and the citizens of Washington.
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. 
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