Cowlitz Falls Fish Facility Biologist

City of Tacoma, WA
May 14, 2023
Tacoma, WA
Job Type


Position Description

Tacoma Power's Generation division is looking for a Cowlitz Falls Fish Facility Biologist to join their team. The Facility Biologist oversees daily operations and assists with the implementation of complex study designs at the Cowlitz Falls Fish Facility - a downstream juvenile collection facility located just south of Randle, WA at the downstream end of Lake Scanewa. This facility is operated in partnership with Lewis County PUD at the Cowlitz Falls Dam. In this role you will support the operation of the Cowlitz Falls Fish Facility, overseeing staff, sample and mark fish, collect and manage data, and preparing operational reports. This position closely coordinates with the Cowlitz Falls Fish Facilities Manager, Tacoma Power Natural Resources, Cowlitz Falls Project, local PUD, government agencies, and other Tacoma Power teams.

A key role of this position is to assist Tacoma Power in reaching a 95% Fish Passage Survival goal as set forth in the Settlement Agreement. As part of that requirement, operation of the facility is required 24 hours daily. This position supports all operating hours through remote monitoring and rotating 24-hour response. Required response time radius is up to 30 minutes.

Responsibilities Include:

  • Oversee field crews in daily smolt and adult fish sampling, tagging and marking activities associated with the Cowlitz Falls Fish Facility and North Shore Collector
  • Manage fish collection data, P4 tagging software, and other associated datasets at Cowlitz Falls Fish Facility
  • Generate weekly updates, assist with annual reporting, and create/update operational protocols
  • Transport juveniles throughout the Cowlitz Basin (non-CDL truck)
  • Coordinate contractor, local utility, and staff scheduling
  • Facility maintenance and coordination of major repairs with Tacoma Power maintenance staff
  • Assist in spawning ground surveys and other data collection activities within the Cowlitz River Basin


  • Bachelor's degree in biology, environmental science, forestry, resource management, archeology or other scientific field related to assignment
  • 0-1 years depending upon assignment

*Equivalency: 1 year of experience = 1 year of education

Licensing, Certifications and Other Requirements
First Aid and CPR certification within the first 6 months of employment
Washington State Driver's License
Willingness to provide on-call support on a rotating schedule with maximum 30-minute response time

Knowledge & Skills

  • Four years of professional level experience in fisheries or related programs with 2 years as a team leader.
  • Experience in fish passage operations and evaluations at hydroelectric facilities.
  • Experience with facility maintenance and communicating to maintenance staff.
  • Experience in fish marking, tagging, and aquaculture activities.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Word and Excel with applied programmatic experience in data analysis and report preparation.
  • Accurate and comprehensive data collection and data management.
  • Experience with conducting environmental surveys (such as spawning ground surveys) and other environmental studies.

Selection Process & Supplemental Information
This recruitment is being managed by Kye Merritt if you would like to be notified of similar opportunities or stay connected with things going on at Tacoma Public Utilities and the City of Tacoma, connect with me on LinkedIn!

City of Tacoma Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
Tacoma's diversity is its greatest asset. Tacoma embraces its multi-cultural and multi-ethnic character. Communities of color and immigrant communities are fundamental to Tacoma's entrepreneurial spirit, workforce, and long-term success. In Tacoma, equity and empowerment are top priorities, meaning that all Tacoma residents must have equitable opportunities to reach their full potential and share in the benefits of community progress. One of our goals is for the City of Tacoma workforce to reflect the community it serves. We actively work to eliminate racial and other disparities and welcome candidates with diverse backgrounds and/or multicultural skill sets and experiences. Our goal is for Tacoma to be an inclusive and equitable place to live, work, and play.

The City of Tacoma is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity in its workplace. Applicants are considered for positions without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital or veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other basis prohibited by federal, state, and local laws.

Tacoma Power
Tacoma Power is an almost 100% hydroelectric, municipally-owned public power utility, located in Tacoma. We serve approximately 170,000 customers as one of the three operating divisions of Tacoma Public Utilities, alongside Tacoma Water and Tacoma Rail. As one of the most livable, walkable cities in the country, you'll find that Tacoma is a great fit for all interests with places to bike, run, hike, and explore, the perks of a big city, and the charm of a small town.

Interested individuals should apply online and attach a detailed resume and cover letter that includes job experience, major responsibilities and accomplishments related to this position.

Applications will be reviewed as they are received for interview consideration.

Reference checks will be conducted on final candidates and appointment is subject to passing a background check.

Communication from the City of Tacoma:
We primarily communicate via e-mail during the application process. E-mails from and/or must be placed on your safe domain list to ensure that you receive notifications in a timely manner. As a precaution, you may also want to check your junk e-mail folders.

If you have any additional questions regarding this position, please contact the Human Resources Department at 253.591.5400.

The City of Tacoma provides excellent medical, dental and vision plans for the whole family; paid holidays and paid leave; participation in the Tacoma Public Employees' Retirement System (alternate plan for Police/Fire); continuing education and advancement opportunities and a growing variety of City-sponsored health and wellness opportunities and incentives.

Medical Coverage: For eligible employees and their families, including domestic partners and dependent children age 26 or younger.

Dental Coverage: For eligible employees and their families, including domestic partners and dependent children age 26 or younger.

Vision Coverage: For eligible employees and their eligible dependents.

Paid Leave: City employees are entitled to received paid holidays, sick/vacation leave or personal time off (PTO), depending upon union affiliation and appointment type.

Insurance Plans: Employees are covered by a long-term disability plan. Short-term and expanded long-term disability insurance plans are also available to employees. The State Industrial Insurance Act also covers employees.

Deferred Compensation: Income can be set aside on a pretax basis and invested for supplementation of normal retirement income.

Retirement: All employees of the City, except members of the Police and Fire services, Tacoma Rail and certain project employees, are included in the Tacoma Employees' Retirement System. Information on the Tacoma Employees' Retirement System can be found at or by calling (253) 502-8200.

Other Employment Information

Direct Deposit: Employees are paid on a bi-weekly schedule by direct deposit.

Salary Increases: Based on satisfactory job performance, the City provides for a regular progression of salary increases for most classifications according to the salary schedule.

Union Affiliation: Many job classifications are covered by union security provisions which require union membership, dues, or payment of equivalent service fees.

Note: The provisions of this job announcement do not constitute an expressed or implied contract. Any provision contained herein may be modified and/or revoked without notice.

Closing Date/Time: 5/26/2023 5:00 PM Pacific

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