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Fishery Biologist (Habitat Project)

Closing Date: Open until filled.

The Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission assists four tribes in the co-management of their treaty fishing rights within the Columbia River Basin. A key to ensuring our member tribes have a sustainable fishery is the ability to collect and assess information on the status of anadromous and resident fish populations and their habitats within the Columbia River Basin. The position offered is within with the Fishery Science Department’s Habitat Group. This group assists CRITFC and the four treaty tribes with collection and analysis of data pertaining to stream habitat conditions, habitat restoration, and stream ecology.

This position will focus primarily on monitoring status and trends in habitat conditions for ESA-listed spring Chinook salmon in the Grande Ronde River in Northeast Oregon and potentially other fish populations throughout the Columbia River basin in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Stream habitat data will be collected using the Tributary Habitat Assessment Protocol, a rapid ground-based survey supplemented by unmanned aerial systems (drone) imagery and other remote sensing. The primary responsibilities of this position are to 1) Supervise the collection of data intended to assess current status and trends in fish habitat characteristics considered to be key limiting factors to viability of spring Chinook salmon populations (particularly water temperature, pool habitats, streamflow, and large wood), 2) Perform basic data analyses and interpretation suitable for contract reports, and 3) Perform additional data syntheses and statistical analyses for peer-reviewed publications and presentations under the supervision of project scientists.

Position Details

  • Department: Fishery Science Department
  • Classification: Regular, Full-Time, Exempt
  • Salary Range: $53,837 – $57,425 (DOQ)
  • Location: Portland, Oregon

Essential Job Functions

Specific duties may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Conduct stream habitat surveys including using an electronic data recorder (e.g., iPad) and GPS to map stream channels and measure various fish habitat metrics such as channel unit composition, large wood abundance, substrate size, river discharge, and water temperature.
  2. Supervise a crew of 2-3 technicians to ensure safety, quality control, and efficiency in data collection.
  3. Organize and inventory field equipment, schedule field activities, and contact landowners to acquire property access.
  4. Collect aquatic macro-invertebrate samples using standard methods.
  5. Assist with snorkel surveys of fish abundance and collection/measurement of fish using seine netting or electrofishing.
  6. Process field data using various software such MS Excel, R, and ESRI products (ArcGIS, Survey123, FieldMaps, Online, etc.).
  7. Conduct quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) procedures to ensure accuracy of data.
  8. Compile and analyze data, review scientific literature, write technical reports and disseminate findings in the form of reports, publications, and/or presentations.
  9. Communicate project goals, methods, and findings with people from a variety of cultures and agencies.

Job Requirements/Qualifications

We seek responsible and dependable individuals with interests in environmental and fisheries sciences who meet the following minimum qualifications:

  1. Bachelor’s Degree in Fisheries Science or related field and at least 3 months of work experience collecting scientific data in the field.
  2. Must have a general knowledge of Pacific Northwest fish biology, aquatic ecology, and fish habitat requirements.
  3. Familiarity with collection of scientific data in field and/or laboratory settings using specialized equipment (e.g., electronic data collection devices, water quality probes, GNSS/GPS receivers, macroinvertebrate samplers) and ability to execute detailed technical procedures with limited supervision following training.
  4. Experience with computer applications and data management, including proficiency with Microsoft Excel and Word and basic statistical procedures (e.g., computing and interpreting measures of central tendency and variability and their visualization).
  5. Must be well organized with attention to detail and accurate record keeping.
  6. Ability to work effectively and positively in a team environment and independently in field, office, and laboratory settings.
  7. A valid driver’s license, good driving record, and the ability to lift and carry objects weighing at least 50 pounds.
  8. Willingness to work under a variety of sometimes adverse field conditions (e.g., hiking with gear to remote locations; hot, cold, and wet conditions involving up to 12-hour workdays, occasionally during non-standard hours or early start times, wading in small to medium-sized rivers).
  9. Must be able to effectively communicate by phone, email, etc., with people from a variety of agencies and cultures about the project objectives and methods.
  10. Must be able to write clear and effective technical reports.
  11. Must demonstrate proof of full vaccination for COVID-19.

Desired qualifications:

  1. Experience conducting stream habitat surveys.
  2. Experience planning daily, weekly, and monthly field activities and supervising a crew of lower-level technicians.
  3. Training and field experience using a standard stream habitat assessment protocol.
  4. Basic experience using ArcGIS.
  5. Experience with data QA/QC and common statistical analyses (e.g., experimental design, ANOVA, multiple linear regression).
  6. Standard or wilderness first aid, CPR, and AED training (can be provided).


  • Supervision received: This position will be supervised by a Fishery Scientist within the Fishery Science Department’s Habitat Group.
  • Supervision given: The person in this position will be responsible for supervision of up to 2-3 seasonal biological science technicians during the field season (generally June to September).

Working Conditions

CRITFC maintains an office in Portland, Oregon where this position is based out of, but the position is telework-eligible within Oregon, Washington, and Idaho during non-summer months. CRITFC maintains a field station in the town of La Grande, Oregon (4.5- hour drive from Portland) where the Biologist and field crews will be stationed for the summer. Paid lodging at the La Grande field station is available during summer, and the Biologist has the option to stay at the field house on weekends or between scheduled work, or commute from the primary duty station. Field research activities typically extend from June through September and involve long hours conducting physically demanding habitat surveys in hot and potentially inclement weather conditions. Field crew members will spend most of the time collecting data in the field. However, the job will also include various office duties at the field station before and after each survey is completed including logistical planning for field activities, processing of macroinvertebrate samples, organizing and maintaining field equipment, and post-processing of field data. The remainder of the year will be spent conducting office work with some travel to the CRITFC main office in Portland, tribal offices, field projects, and regional meetings. Occasional assistance with other CRITFC projects may be required (fish sampling at Bonneville dam, sea lion hazing and removal, steelhead kelt reconditioning, etc.). Most travel will be within Oregon, Washington and Idaho, and by motor vehicle.

CRITFC Motor Vehicle Policy

The driver operating a CRITFC vehicle or their own private vehicle for business related purposes shall be in possession of a valid, unrestricted current driver’s license, or other operator’s license, as required by law; and be eligible for coverage under CRITFC’s Motor Vehicle insurance policy. Upon request, CRITFC’s Motor Vehicle policy is available to applicants to review the required criteria.

Application Procedure

The Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) requires all new employees be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to the first day of employment.

To apply, submit a completed CRITFC job application form. click here to download

Submit by email to and indicate job title in the subject line. We will confirm receipt of your submission.

Submit by mail:
Attn: Human Resources
700 NE Multnomah Street, Suite 1200
Portland, OR 97232

Hiring preference:
Hiring preference will be given to qualified enrolled members of the four CRITFC member tribes (Warm Springs, Yakama, Umatilla, and Nez Perce) and other federally recognized tribes and Alaskan Natives. Veterans will also be given preference.

CRITFC is committed to building a culturally inclusive community and a work environment that respects and inspires every person. Members of historically marginalized groups including women, people of color, those with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, those who have served in the military, and members of other underrepresented communities are invited to apply.

*Please note: the term “Commission” as used in this description refers to CRITFC’s governing body. CRITFC is a tribal organization that is wholly owned and governed by the Nez Perce Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, The Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon, and the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation. As a tribal organization, CRITFC is subject to a unique blend of policies and laws.