All of our projects hire seasonal workers at various times throughout the year to conduct fish surveys and collect biological data.  A typical appointment is 2-6 months.  There are no minimum qualifications for these positions, but preference is typically given to candidates with some scientific background or training, an aptitude for outdoor work, and the ability to work well with others.  These can be physically demanding, adventurous jobs, and are an excellent opportunity for recent graduates in natural resources or biological sciences to gain valuable field experience.

Current openings, if any, are listed below.  To apply, send a signed Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Employment Application Form to the Project Leader listed for a particular job.  The form and additional instructions are provided via the ODFW Jobs link below. 

Example Duties

Conduct spawning surveys by locating, driving to and walking or boating selected stream reaches to count spawning salmonids:

  • Locate survey areas by reading written descriptions and maps and identifying landmarks
  • Operate a state vehicle, including backing of trailers loaded with boats, traps, and other equipment
  • Walk or float stream channels in preselected survey areas
  • Count adult salmonids and redds
  • Accurately record field data on counts of fish and survey conditions in field notebooks and datasheets
  • Operate GPS units, 2-way radios, CWT wands, PIT tag detectors and other sampling equipment

Obtain data and biological samples from live salmon and carcasses during creel and spawner surveys and at hatcheries:

  • Determine species
  • Determine size (length and other biometric measurements)
  • Determine sex using external and internal features of live or dead salmon
  • Collect otoliths, scales, and tissue from live or dead salmon
  • Examine live or dead salmon for fin clips or tags
  • Remove snouts to recover coded-wire tags
  • Transport samples to laboratory or field stations

Conduct sampling of juvenile salmonids and other species in reservoirs:

  • Collect juvenile salmonids using a variety of gear types (e.g., traps, seines, gill nets, electrofishing).
  • Apply PIT tags and other marks to juvenile salmonids.
  • Operate PIT-tag interrogation equipment.
  • Recapture fish using traps, seines, and other equipment.
  • Collect biological data and samples from juvenile salmonids including gill tissue samples and scales.
  • Observe and count fish while snorkeling during day and night
  • Operate boats up to 22’ in reservoirs.
  • Collect diet samples from fish.

Monitor migration of juvenile salmonids:

  • Install and operate rotary screw traps.
  • Repair damage to trap and cabling as needed.
  • Measure length and weights and record fish numbers.
  • Collect scales, and other samples as required
  • Mark fish with variety of methods (e.g., PIT tags, fin clips, dye).
  • Accurately record and catalog field data and samples.
  • Assess injury and disease of fish collected below dams.

Participate in required training and perform other duties as required:

  • Field survey orientation and training
  • New Employee Orientation
  • Defensive Driving
  • CPR / First Aid
  • Maintain and organize data forms
  • Enter data into spreadsheets
  • Verify and correct field data
  • Prepare, maintain, clean, and repair field gear and vehicles

Working Conditions

These positions typically require extensive travel in the Willamette Basin, use of kayaks and rafts on rivers, motorized boats in reservoirs, and walking up to five miles per day in and along swift streams. The work is conducted outdoors at hatcheries, trapping locations, reservoirs, and in selected reaches of rivers and streams, sometimes during inclement weather. Use of a personal floatation device is required when traveling in watercraft, and helmets are required when using kayaks.

All positions require a valid driver license and an acceptable driving record. A boater education card is required for operating motorized boats.


Current Openings

None at this time.

Juvenile Spring Chinook Seining, Lower Willamette, 2012

Tagging Juvenile Spring Chinook, Horse Creek, August 2012

Carcass Recovery, 2011

Appointment Type Number of Positions Project  Start Date  End Date  Contact