Fish & Wildlife Biologist 3 (Crustacean Biologist); Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Job Title: 
Fish & Wildlife Biologist 3 (Crustacean Biologist)
Job Location: 
Port Townsend , WA
Full time permanent
$4,600.00 - $6,036.00 Monthly
Application Deadline: 
Wednesday, July 24, 2019

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

Applications will be reviewed and interviews held as qualified applicants are identified, and the position may be filled and the recruitment closed.  Therefore, you are encouraged to submit your application materials as soon as possible.

This is recruitment is for one (1) permanent Biologist 3 position in the Fish Program, Puget Sound Shellfish Unit in the Port Townsend District Office located at 375 Hudson St., Port Townsend, WA., 98368-5614.   The primary duty of this position is to manage commercial crustacean fisheries in Puget Sound. This position evaluates and analyzes in-season commercial harvest of crab and shrimp fisheries in Puget Sound and recommends regulations that support orderly and sustainable fisheries in concert with co-management harvest plans. This position assists with designing and implementing field studies and research projects that serve to inform conservation and protection of crustacean resources and habitats, assesses changes in crab and shrimp abundance, and evaluates future harvest opportunities. This position works cooperatively with their supervisor to make resource management recommendations and is a central technical advisor to the co-management process leading to development of State/Tribal annual harvest management plans. This position also supervises and works cooperatively with a team of managers, biologists, and technicians to implement agency and shellfish unit goals and objectives. This position assures that all individuals interacting with the agency are welcomed and treated fairly and respectfully, and employees feel empowered to contribute fully to serving their work unit, the agency, and the citizens of Washington.


Manage Puget Sound commercial crab and shrimp fisheries Tasks include: Serve as agency technical lead for the commercial Dungeness crab and shrimp fisheries in Puget Sound.  Maintain a Quick Report (QR) system to track commercial crab and shrimp harvest in Puget Sound. Compare QR data with WDFW Fish Ticket queries to assure accurate catch accounting. Create regular harvest summaries for WDFW senior and policy level staff, industry representatives, and Treaty co-managers. Recommend emergency regulations to assure harvests are orderly and within State quota shares. Maintain historical crab and shrimp harvest data and biological data for Puget Sound. Analyze trends in Puget Sound crab and shrimp fisheries and create annual summaries and reports. Maintain commercial crab and shrimp landings summaries on the WDFW crab and shrimp webpages. Serve as lead agency contact for the Puget Sound commercial crab and shrimp advisors and maintain regular interaction with commercial crab and shrimp fishers.

Design and implement biological field studies and research projects to inform crustacean management decisions. Tasks include: Design and implement biological field studies, test fisheries and research projects to address management questions about crab and shrimp resources in Puget Sound, with a goal of providing critical biological and population data required to set commercial and recreational crab seasons and determine annual fishing quotas. It is expected that the individual in this position will lead and participate in most, if not all, field work. The position will provide data summaries and communicate research results by generating written reports and scientific manuscripts. The individual in this position will also collaborate with other researchers to support studies that will inform and improve crustacean resource management in Puget Sound.   Serve as lead technical advisor to WDFW senior staff and policy representatives in the State/Tribal crab and shrimp management planning process. Tasks include: Support policy staff in negotiating annual harvest management plans using existing historic crab and shrimp data. Compile and summarize fishery data and be prepared to provide information when requested on short notice. Attend and participate in State/Tribal technical and policy meetings. Update fishery information, suggest revisions to crab and shrimp harvest management plans and provide these edits to supervisor and WDFW policy staff. Participate in cooperative biological studies and monitoring efforts with Tribal co-managers.   Liaison to WDFW Enforcement staff on crab and shrimp rule compliance issues. Tasks include: Work with WDFW Enforcement officers on Puget Sound crab fisheries compliance issues. Assist with the planning and coordination of enforcement patrols for monitoring recreational violation rates. Compile and analyze enforcement data for violation trends. Create and distribute an annual recreational crab compliance report. Compile and analyze derelict gear recovery data. Create an annual derelict gear recovery report and distribute to supervisor and policy staff. Support Enforcement personnel on additional investigations as needed.   Coordinate Shrimp Trawl Fishery Observer Program Tasks include: Track shrimp trawl trips and landings in the Puget Sound shrimp trawl fishery. Using the observer coverage standards agreed to with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and Regional Treaty co-managers, assign observers to trips with shrimp trawl permit holders based on the frequency of landings. Train new shrimp trawl observers, as needed. Compile and analyze data collected on incidental catch of spot prawn in shrimp trawls.  Create incidental catch reports for NMFS and Regional Treaty co-managers. Report incidental catch of federally listed rockfish species to supervisor and WDFW policy staff.   Supervises crustacean team members Tasks include: Supervise technical and professional staff in order to support an effective, motivated team. Set goals and objectives, develop strategies to implement, and develop performance measurements for the purpose of ensuring that individual and program performance objectives are met. Occasionally monitor and inspect work in progress to ensure continuity and timely completion. Develop performance plans for each assigned employee within the unit, create or update position description, monitor and document employee performance, provide on-going feedback regarding levels of performance, and conduct timely employee performance evaluations.  Manage personnel issues to assure a fair, efficient and effective functioning of the work unit. Develop and implement staff training and development plans to improve employee performance. Share work schedules with  Shellfish  Unit lead biologists to promote coordination and cross-project utilization of staff.   Other duties as required   Working conditions Must be available to work Sunday through Saturday, non-scheduled, sometimes in excess of 40 hours. This position is exchange time eligible. Work is conducted in a standard office setting when not in the field. Occasional in-state and over-night travel is required. Must be able to effectively and courteously communicate with recreational and commercial fishers on a regular basis. This position is often required to present information at professional conferences, meeting or public gatherings. Distributes educational materials when appropriate. Identifies emerging issues and communicates with policy staff and managers to develop resolution strategies. Must be highly proficient in operating desktop and laptop computers to enter, extract, query, and summarize data, perform data analysis, and generate correspondence, tables, forms and reports. Must be able to record data legibly and completely, sometimes in adverse weather conditions.   The individual in this position must be able to safely and effectively work aboard and operate the WDFW Research Vessel #699 and smaller boats in all waters of Puget Sound and the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca in sometimes challenging weather conditions. Must have working knowledge and ability to use various marine electronics (GPS, depth sounder, radar, VHS radio, etc.) to assist in the navigation of these waters. Must be able to independently lift and move shellfish gear up to 50 pounds to waist height in a safe and effective manner and also have the ability to repetitively lift up to 50 lbs to chest height, with assistance, while on board a pitching and rolling research vessel. The individual must be able to tolerate the physical demands of working on board a pitching and rolling vessel under challenging and varied weather conditions.    Union 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). 


  • A Bachelor's degree in fisheries, wildlife management, natural resource science, or environmental science.   AND
  • Three years of professional experience in fish, wildlife, or habitat management or research, wildlife management or wildlife research, or habitat management or habitat research.   (Twelve semesters or eighteen-quarter hours of specific course work is required in Fisheries, Marine Biology, Invertebrate Biology, and/or Zoology.)


  •  A Master's degree in the applicable science will substitute one year of the required experience. 
  • Ph.D. in the applicable science will substitute two years of the required experience. 
  • Two years as a Fish & Wildlife Biologist 2.  
  • Employee must obtain a certification from the agency sponsored Motorboat Operator Certification Course (MOCC) at the earliest opportunity and within their first year of employment, to continue employment.  
  • Employee must maintain CPR and First Aid certification at all times. 
  • Employee must have a valid Driver's License. 
  • Knowledge of common computer/software (spreadsheets, word processors, databases and other software as needed).

 Preferred experience

  • Knowledge of crustacean biology and application of fishery management principles
  • Familiarity with the State/Tribal co-management process in Washington, including federal court orders and rulings from the Rafeedie Decision.
  • General knowledge of the marine environment
  • General knowledge of commercial crab and shrimp fisheries.
  • Knowledge of sampling methods and statistical analyses used in natural resource management.
  • Knowledge of vessel design and maintenance, experience troubleshooting gear problems, knowledge of marine electronics.
  • Understand computer software and data logging technologies (statistical analysis, record management, word processing, spreadsheets, relational databases, graphics packages, GIS mapping software, data tablets, CTD's, temperature loggers, etc.).

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 qualifications and competencies of this position (generic cover letter will not be accepted) 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.  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.

Please note that all jobs are automatically removed once the application deadline passes. Jobs without a deadline are automatically removed after 30 days.