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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 520I
Category: Science & Engineering


This is the supervisory level of the series. Supervises employees and are responsible for implementing and managing a multi-species fish-rearing program.


Supervises the operation of one or more fish hatcheries, to include at least two or more of the following:

  • Development, management and monitoring of hatchery facility(ies) budget;
  • Development, monitoring and revision of broodstock protocol for a hatchery facility;
  • Coordination of fish planting activities;
  • Management of the operation of fish weirs;
  • Assisting in the design or re-design of hatchery facilities.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Positions at the level independently makes critical split second decisions that could affect broodstock for years to come or that could result in damage to the hatchery facility.

Typical Work

Evaluates the quality of adult broodstocks and estimates the number needed to meet program needs; develops, monitors and revises broodstock protocols to ensure genetic diversity;

Supervises the selection of fish to be spawned; supervises the artificial spawning of various salmon and trout species;

Supervises the administration of prescribed drugs to fish by injection or immersion; records the number of fish inoculated and the drug used;

Maintains eggs during incubation and hatching; treats with germicide; determines fecundity; selects and ships eggs to other hatcheries;

Maintains salmon and trout fry and fingerlings; feeds fish with specially prepared diet; records growth through periodic measurement and weighting;

Determines which mature males will be included in a cryogenic program; supervises cryogenic activities;

Supervises the disposition of non-viable and surplus eggs, organizes the sale and transfer of eggs; directs the distribution of carcasses to contract vendors or agency-approved entities;

Coordinates and supervises fish planting activities in accordance with agency policies and legal requirements; schedules transfer vehicles, personnel, and volunteers;

Develops and reconciles operations and capital budgets for hatchery facilities; records and monitors expenditures; projects short and long-term expenditures; develops and monitors contracts;

Monitors modernized facilities and manual checks and balances to ensure both system transitions are working;

Recruits, interviews and selects employees for temporary and permanent positions;

Prepares for own or supervisor’s signature a variety of agency, legal, and contractual reports;

Represents the hatchery facility, hatchery division and/or agency at internal and external meetings, providing key knowledge and expertise on fish rearing and hatchery operations;

Communicate with the public, media and legislative staff on hatchery operations and fish issues;

Maintains and updates permits and licenses;

Plans daily and cyclic hatchery work schedules; periodically cleans and repairs fish ponds and tanks; maintains and repairs equipment; maintains grounds;

Performs other work as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: principles of management; budget development; interagency agreements; fish species, gender, and disease signs; fish culture methods and techniques, river ecosystem and the biology associated with fish species and spawning protocols; basic bmath and descriptive statistics; professional biological and scientific terminology and techniques; mechanical equipment repair; methods, equipment, and supplies used in maintenance of hatchery structures and grounds.

Ability to: implement and manage programs; train and supervise employees; work outdoors in all weather conditions; perform strenuous physical activities; perform mechanical tasks using power and hand tools; gather and compile data and complete records; communicate both orally and in writing; maintain effective working relationships with others.

Legal Requirement(s)

Some positions require a valid driver’s license and/or a Class A or Class B Commercial Driver’s License.

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 3.


Associate degree in fisheries technology, biology or closely allied field and three years of experience performing fish culture duties in a hatchery.


A Bachelor’s degree in fisheries, biology or closely allied field and three years of experience performing fish culture duties in a hatchery.

Four years of experience performing a variety of fish culture duties in a hatchery will substitute for the Bachelor’s degree.

Class Specification History

New class consolidates:  (formerly  92592 Fish Hatchery Specialist 4;  4761 Fish Hatchery Supervisor)  Adopted May 11, 2007  Effective July 1 2007
Revised salary range, definition and typical work; adopted June 30, 2017, effective July 1, 2017.
Revised definition, distinguishing characteristics, typical work, knowledge and abilities, and desirable qualifications, adopted June 13, 2019, effective July 1, 2019.