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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 520G
Category: Science & Engineering


Performs journey level technical and scientific fish culture duties and performs hatchery related maintenance.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Independently performs a variety of professional tasks such as fish marking techniques for identification and recovery of species; administers the correct dose of drugs and anesthetic; calibrates, cleans, and sterilizes inoculation equipment.

Typical Work

Performs fish marking techniques for identification and recovery of species; identifies, sorts and processes marked broodfish; compiles and records data for biological analysis;

Administers the correct dose of drugs and anesthteics to fish by injection or immersion; calibrates, cleans, and sterilizes inoculation equipment; calculates, applies, monitors, evaluates, and records therapeutant levels to control pathogens;

Identifies and sorts for spawning individual adult fish according to species, gender, condition of maturity, or other defined characteristics; removes and collects eggs and sperm to ensure viable, uncontaminated gametes and genetic variability;

Identifies and removes weak or dead eggs, and shock eggs; influence the rate of development of eggs and fry by temperature manipulation of water; applies thermal marks for otolith differentiation; sterilizes groups of eggs with heated water; acclimates eggs to new water source temperature regime;

Calculates desired growth rates through yearly rearing cycle that monitor fish sizes using samples and feed conversions;

Calculates daily feed requirements, feeding frequency, and delivery rates based on species, densities, fish size, temperature, flows, turbidity, dissolved oxygen levels, and fish health and desired growth rates;

Monitors fish behavior and records mortalities; examines mortalities for clinical signs of fish pathogens; monitors water quality and rearing environments; notifies supervisor and Fish Health Specialists/Aquatic Animal Health Veterinarians when abnormalities occur;

Collects, monitors, and records weather and water quality parameters which include temperatures, flow, turbidity, dissolved oxygen/total gas, pH, total suspended solids (TSS), and settleable solids (SS); monitors, adjusts, and maintains water treatment systems;

Monitors surface water for contaminates from chemical spills and high nitrogen levels suspended in water;

Completes and submits facility specific water quality sampling (i.e. ammonia, nitrites and other parameters) and adjust fish culture practices as needed to accommodate for seasonal and stochastic changes in environmental conditions;

Completes discharge monitoring reports as required by the Department of Ecology to maintain hatchery discharge permits;

Liberates various sizes and species of fish to the waters of the state, using airplane, backpack, barge, horseback, truck, forced release, and volitional release methods; operates vehicles equipped with fish tanks of various sizes in compliance with state and federal laws; maintains a valid Commercial Driver’s License, as needed;

Makes scheduled and emergency repairs to structures such as buildings, docks, rearing vessels, and net pens; operates, monitors, maintains, and repairs mechanical or electrical systems for chemical delivery, domestic and hatchery water supplies, power and lights, feed delivery, filters and hatchery intakes, sewage, and ventilation; operates, inspects, adjusts, maintains, and repairs pumps and pump motors, gas and diesel generators, small engines, fork lifts, compressors, crowders, hydraulic and pneumatic equipment, and heating systems;

Maintains ledger of hatchery expenses and completes order payment forms for vendor payments;

Operates, monitors, and responds to all alarms that provide security and protection;

Wears and uses employee safety equipment as directed; inspects, cleans, and repairs employees safety equipment; tests employee safety equipment and records respirator cartridge use and results of respirator tests;

Collects, compiles, and stores data on a variety of activities pertaining to fish rearing; completes forms, permits, and reports for supervisor’s approval and signature;

Compiles, catalogues and stores historic records at facility;

Maintains facility-wide biosecurity and ensures volunteers and members of the public follow biosecurity guidelines;

Performs other work as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of:  fish species, gender, and disease signs; working knowledge of biological principles, hydrology, fish ecology, river ecosystem, spawning protocols; fish culture methods and techniques; math and descriptive statistics; scientific terminology and techniques; mechanical equipment repair; methods, equipment, and supplies used in maintenance of hatchery structures and grounds. 

Ability to:  assist in training entry level employees, work out of doors in all weather conditions, perform strenuous physical activities, perform mechanical tasks using power and hand tools, follow instructions and complete assigned tasks, gather and compile data, use sound judgment.

Legal Requirement(s)

There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position. 

Desirable Qualifications

One year of experience as a Fish Hatchery Specialist 1 and successful completion of agency supervised training program.


Associate’s degree in fisheries technology, biology or closely allied field and one year of experience performing fish culture duties in a hatchery.


Two years of education towards a Bachelor’s degree in fisheries, biology or closely allied field and one year of experience performing fish culture duties in a hatchery.


Successful completion of a fish culture program from a vocational school and one year of experience performing fish culture duties in a hatchery.

Three years of experience performing a variety of fish culture duties in a hatchery will substitute for the required education.

NOTE:  A valid driver’s license is required.  Some positions require a valid Class A or Class B Commercial Driver’s License.

NOTE:  Some positions require a valid Washington State Pesticide Applicator’s License.

Class Specification History

New class:  July 14, 1995 (Effective September 1, 1995)
Revised new class code:  (formerly  92593)  effective July 1, 2007.
Revised definition, distinguishing characteristics, typical work, knowledge and abilities, and desirable qualifications, adopted June 13, 2019, effective July 1, 2019.