Florida softshell turtle, Apalone ferox, photo by J.D. Willson

Fisheries Technician

Pacific State Marine Fisheries Commission
Red Bluff, California
Closing Date
July 6, 2021

The Pacific State Marine Fisheries Commission is seeking a fisheries technician for the Sacramento River Basin Salmonid Monitoring Program. The candidate will perform the necessary tasks required for maintaining underwater counting devices, processing migration data, data QA/QC, and reporting on salmonid migration statistics. In addition, the candidate will construct, install, and remove fish weirs and various hardware and software seasonally as well as troubleshoot electronics equipment and wiring. Spending 6-8 hours in the field or on a boat is normal, hiking and wading in small streams is a daily activity. Wading in or near swift water during inclement weather is expected. This is primarily a field-based position and the successful candidate may be routinely exposed to adverse weather conditions throughout all months of the year. Candidate must demonstrate swimming proficiency and be comfortable around cold, swift water. Video processing is a major component of the position, with seasonal, daily, or weekly time periods spent watching video footage of fish migration. Use of power tools and hand tools is common.

This is a seasonal position (6 months but less than 12 months). Salary is $17/hour and there are benefits. The anticipated start date is August 2, 2021.

The schedule will be determined based upon the fish return and sampling regime currently being employed. The candidates will not be expected to work nights. Some weekend work is expected. Driving trucks and towing boats is required.

Essential Functions:

  • Participate in survey crews that conduct regional fishery presence/absence research, recreational/commercial fishing surveys, anadromous fish escapement surveys (carcass, redd, trap/weir, snorkel, etc.), or tag detection and mark recovery surveys.
  • Make standardized observations such as species identification, length, weight, behavior, growth, survival, reproductive condition, and/or signs of parasites, diseases or pathogens, fin clips or tags.
  • Collect and organize biological and habitat samples and collections (such as scales, otoliths, ageing structures, other tissues, water quality, etc.).
  • Make regular facility inspections including, for example, dewatering equipment, pumps, flumes, gates, tanks, screens, filters, gatewells, and/or tag interrogation equipment.
  • Monitor and maintain water quality levels.
  • Record findings and adjustments made.
  • Respond appropriately and immediately to emergencies.
  • Summarize and input biological or habitat data on field forms, electronic data loggers, and/or desktop computers.
  • May assist with preliminary data summaries and analyses, technical report writing, or database management.
  • Research the land ownership of survey sites and assist in processes for gaining access approval, which may include direct landowner contact.

A portion of the work is performed in an office setting with adequate lighting, heating and ventilation.  The majority is performed in fish processing labs, fish holding areas, and/or in the field.  Incumbents may work on narrow, elevated walkways and platforms that are over or adjacent to water.  Field work involves exposure to all types of weather, slippery rocks, trails, irregular terrain, insects, poison oak, rough or fast-moving water, or cold water temperatures. Work at high elevations or aboard boats may be required.

The Sacramento River Basin Salmonid Monitoring Program is a cooperative agreement between PSMFC and the Department of the Interior as part of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. The program seeks to make all reasonable efforts to ensure the long-term sustainability of Salmonid populations in the region. Adult Chinook salmon spawning and escapement surveys have been historically conducted in the Upper Sacramento River basin to produce adult abundance and trend data that is used to evaluate the performance in region-wide recovery efforts. Specifically, these data sets are used for the following management purposes: provide a basis for juvenile Chinook salmon production estimates, monitor performance standards to evaluate the success of enhancement and restoration programs, assess hatchery influence, and contribute to inland and ocean harvest management. The purpose of this agreement is to collect essential baseline data to enhance populations of anadromous fish for the continued benefit of the American public.


  • snorkeling                                           
  • trap/weir
  • carcass and redd surveys
  • electronic detection technol.               
  • able to swim                           
  • lift 40 - 50 lbs.
  • load boats on trailers                         
  • tow & maneuver trailers        
  • valid driver's license
  • operate motorized boats                     
  • operate non-motorized boats  
  • hiking                                                 
  • operate GPS
  • fish species ID skills               
  • operate handheld data recorder         
  • compile and collect neat and accurate data   
  • specific software skills (spreadsheet, word processing, database, GIS, statistical)
  • oral communication skills                  
  • written communication skills
  • construction, fabrication and installation skills                                  
  • repair & maintain equipment

At the lower end of the range, employees use knowledge of basic arithmetic, reading, writing, and data collection to perform routine or repetitive tasks. 

At the upper end of the position range, employees use knowledge of the basic principles and protocols of fish biology to make readings, measurements, and observations; execute tests; collect samples, etc. If complex equipment systems are operated, the employee has the knowledge to perform calibrations or adjustments to achieve desired results. 

Physical demands can range from moderate. where there is walking, climbing stairs and ladders, reaching, lifting, bending, and strenuous sweeping, to rigorous. In the latter case, the incumbent must be able to handle buckets of water or gear weighing up to 50 pounds. Long daily periods of hiking, carrying equipment, swimming, and/or standing may be required. Camping out for extended periods may be required. Some work requires the ability to maintain footing in fast-moving water. 

Minimum HS degree, BS or BA preferred. Environmental, biological, or science-based degree preferred but not mandatory. Ideal experience would be at least 1 year in fisheries, wildlife, or the natural sciences.

To Apply

Apply online at www.psmfc.org/careers (Job 21-1118).

Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission is an Affirmative Action (AA) and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer and welcomes all qualified applicants.  Applicants will receive fair and impartial consideration without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, genetic data, or other legally protected status.

If you have a disability and need assistance completing the application form, you may call the PSMFC human resources office at (503) 595-3100 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. PST, Monday-Friday.  Reasonable accommodations for interviews will be provided upon request to individuals with disabilities.

We maintain a drug-free workplace.

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