Fish Culturist I

Basic Function:
Fish Culturist I functions as part of the hatchery operations team in the cultivating and rearing of fish.  Under supervision, initiates, supervises and performs complex paraprofessional or technical field, laboratory, or office work, or directs minor segments in various phases of hatchery operations.  Independent judgment is exercised with written procedural approaches and only unique and complex situations referred to the supervisor.

Distinguishing Characteristics:
This class is the first working level of the fish culturist series.  Incumbents may act as the technical project leader of a programmatic segment of a hatchery project.  As senior technical specialists, incumbents are allowed discretion in achieving objectives directed toward goals and assignments which require considerable knowledge of principles and practices of aquaculture, and a thorough knowledge of culture for one or more salmonid species. Incumbents summarize data in written reports and write recommendations for management decisions, and assist in writing the annual report representing the segment of the project for which the position is responsible.  Positions have authority to initiate and direct the work of lower level technicians and perform on-going functions in the areas of field logistics, supply and personnel/payroll.  Work may involve contact with the public.

Fish Culturist I is distinguished from the II level in that incumbents manage a segment of a project and/or assist higher level culturists in managing a project; and they do not serve as acting manager of the hatchery in the absence of the Hatchery Manager and the Assistant Manager.

Description of duties and tasks:

  • Fish propagation: Enumerating, caring, killing, spawning and disposing of carcasses; preparing, cleaning and maintaining incubator; monitoring and maintaining water quality; loading, enumerating, picking and caring for egg/alevin; rearing, enumerating and setting up outmigration of fry; perform other general duties associated with fish culture operations.
  • Fish Harvest: Preparing, repairing and maintaining harvest equipment; loading, transporting, caring for and unloading harvest pens; collecting and recording fish harvest management data.
  • Takes samples from commercial fisheries catches for data on species, size, age and sex composition; collects scales, otoliths, ovaries or other biological specimens, scale mounting.
  • Site cleanup, general maintenance and repair, cleans, sweeps or shovels snow.
  • Leads by example work flow or scheduling to other crew members in a team.
  • Use computers and computer software to conduct routine data entry or output.
  • Performs as a crew leader supervising lower level technicians in the performance of routine duties, maintenance and operations. May train lower level technicians in the collection of biological data or samples, performance of hatchery operations and/or operation of field stations, etc.
  • Performs simple functions in the areas of personnel, procurement and supply to maintain a steady workflow for daily scheduled tasks.
  • Maintains and adjusts water supplies to provide desired quality, quantity and temperature to incubation and rearing units.
  • Use computers and computer software to conduct routine data entry or output.
  • Serves as a project leader of a remote field station.
  • Helps the project supervisor in the area of supply procurement and quarterly ordering as it applies to project budgets.
  • Communicates daily information to supervisor to maintain logistical support of crews.
  • Recommends procedures, techniques and new equipment to improve work efficiencies or adaptation to new techniques.
  • Organizes, collects and presents data for reports and compiles information or assists in the writing of reports; compiles data and simple reports and/or maps; performs statistical computations; designs logs and forms for data collection.
  • Discriminates, counts and measures annual growth marks on fish scales.
  • Effectively interacts with public and directs inquiries to appropriate department or persons.
  • Performs laboratory work such as identification and processing of fish, plankton or parts thereof.
  • Performs related duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Ability to safely operate small boats, snowmobiles, power tools and other equipment.
  • Ability to follow detailed verbal and written instructions.
  • Ability to observe and collect data and maintain simple but accurate records.
  • Ability to read and write and to perform simple arithmetic computations and routine data entry.
  • Ability to perform physically demanding work and withstand inclement weather and other uncomfortable environmental conditions.
  • Ability to coordinate efforts and work cooperatively in a group.
  • Ability to work carefully and safely around wild animals
  • Some knowledge of fishery and aquaculture resources.
  • Ability to transmit data in appropriate formats.
  • Considerable knowledge of one or more fish species, their behavior and habitats.
  • Working knowledge of laboratory practices, procedures and equipment of fish research and management practices.
  • Working knowledge of supply requirements, procurement and/or personnel/payroll procedures to provide logistic support of field installation and/or crew. Some knowledge of fundamental budget processes.
  • Considerable knowledge of firearms and firearm safety and of first aid and precautionary health and safety skills.
  • Ability to work independently without direct supervision.
  • Ability to apply physical and biological data and simple collection techniques and diagnostic testing.
  • Ability to exercise judgment in handling complex problems; to focus on significant issues and direct efforts toward them; to recognize hazardous conditions. Ability to effectively present facts and recommendations orally and in writing.  Ability to prepare written reports and to compile data into maps, graphs, and tables.
  • Ability to formulate verbal and written instructions; to supervise and evaluate employees; to lead others and direct the collection of physical and biological data and samples.
  • Ability to work carefully and safely with drugs and chemicals, and to safely operate small boats, snowmobiles, ATVs, powers tools, and other equipment.
  • Ability to design logs and formats for data collection and transmission; to perform initial analysis of data from observations and make recommendations. Ability to write memoranda and correspondence related to observations.
  • Ability to maintain favorable relationships with varied public; to respond to potentially controversial inquiries; to provide information to the public.
  • Some knowledge of accepted practices in the preparation of scientific papers and reports.

Essential Functions:
Work performed at any hatchery or remote location as needed.  Must be able to move about freely; work outdoors in all weather conditions; ability to lift and carry 50 pounds; ability to climb stairs and ladders; ability to climb aboard and about vessels and small aircraft; work around water – on docks and floats; use telephones and computers unimpaired.  Must be able to read, write, speak and understand the English language.  Must be able to hear and see to receive verbal and written instructions.

Minimum qualifications:

  1. Must have a current, valid driver’s license
  2. High school graduation or equivalent, and one year of experience as a fish and wildlife technician I or II, or one year of technical laboratory or field work experience, involving fish or wildlife research, management or habitat protection,
    and one year work experience at an advanced level fish and wildlife technician or aide (III or higher).

Substitutions:

  • Associates of Science or Associates of Applied Science degrees in the areas of aquaculture, biology, fisheries, wildlife, or marine technologies may substitute for a maximum of one year of technical laboratory or field work experience, involving fish or wildlife research, management or habitat protection. One year of experience as a fish and wildlife technician or aide (II or higher) is required.
  • Bachelor of Science degree in fisheries, wildlife or habitat protection may substitute for a maximum of one year of technical laboratory or field work experience, involving fish or wildlife research, management or habitat protection. Six months as a fish and wildlife technician or aide (II or higher) is required.
  • Maintenance work experience at PWSAC hatcheries may count toward the fish and wildlife technician or aide work experience if it can be demonstrated that fish technician work was done during the time of employment and to meet the required time minimums

Positions Supervised:
Lower level fish technician.

To apply for this job please visit pwsac.com.