Job Posting: Smelt Specialist

Department of Fish and Wildlife

Smelt Specialist

$7,336.00 - $9,126.00 per Month

Final Filing Date: 11/27/2023

Application Methods:
Electronic (Using your CalCareer Account)
By Mail

Job Description and Duties

Are you interested in working at the intersection between California’s water management and endangered species conservation? Would you like to have a role in the direct management of some of California’s most imperiled fish species?
Longfin Smelt and Delta Smelt are two threatened and endangered fish species native to the San Francisco Estuary, and their abundances are at all-time lows. The San Francisco Estuary is an important feature of California’s freshwater infrastructure and is a focal point in balancing the state’s freshwater resources between municipal, industrial, and environmental uses. Frequent, multi-year droughts are exacerbating this issue and challenging our long-term management strategies for these species. It is time for innovative, new ideas to conserve and protect Longfin Smelt and Delta Smelt into the future. This position offers a unique opportunity for someone with a strong technical background in fisheries biology to participate as a technical “Smelt” lead in the permitting of California’s State Water Project under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). Ideal candidates would have expertise in at least one of the following categories: 1) Data Science 2) Aquatic Ecology 3) Fisheries Biology, or 4) Environmental Permitting.

This position will work with a team of data scientists, fisheries biologists, estuarine ecologists, and conservation engineers within the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. They will also collaborate with state and federal partners in the Department of Water Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation, and a wide array of stakeholders.

The mission of the State Water Project Permitting Unit is to develop and implement novel, science-based solutions to conflicts between water supply and ecosystem management in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and tributaries. We will consistently provide clear, creative, and feasible solutions to conserve and adaptively manage imperiled species and ecosystems impacted by joint operations of the state and federal water projects. We will do this by developing our own scientific expertise and encouraging outside-the-box thinking in a collaborative, open, respectful, and candid setting.

This position is posted in the following counties: Sacraemento and Yolo County. You only need to apply to one county

In order to be eligible for this position, you must either be transfer eligible or take and pass the following exam: Senior Environmental Scientist (Specialist) EXAM LINK


You will find additional information about the job in the Duty Statement.

Working Conditions

The position requires the use of a computer for several hours each day, the completion of office tasks that require sitting, standing, and walking to other locations; attendance at meetings and participation in conference calls. The position may require travel throughout the state including overnight travel, early mornings, late nights, hiking over uneven and possibly steep or wet terrain, use of 4-wheel drive vehicle (including all-terrain vehicle), and work in inclement weather. A valid California’s driver’s license is required to drive to meetings and field sites. The position may require the incumbent to wear a uniform identifying the employee as Department staff.

Minimum Requirements

You will find the Minimum Requirements in the Class Specification.

Position Details

Job Code #:
Position #(s):
Working Title:
Smelt Specialist
$7,336.00 - $9,126.00
# of Positions:
Work Location:
Sacramento County
Job Type:
Permanent, Full Time

Department Information

Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) employees are committed to managing and protecting California’s diverse wildlife and the habitats upon which they depend.

California is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. As such, CDFW values diverse 
employees working together to protect nature for all Californians. CDFW is committed to fostering an inclusive work environment where all backgrounds, cultures and personal experiences can thrive and connect others to our critical mission.

Join us and begin a meaningful new career!

Department Website:

Special Requirements

This position may occasionally require the incumbent to visit project sites and participate in special studies as they relate to ITP implementation

Application Instructions

Completed applications and all required documents must be received or postmarked by the Final Filing Date in order to be considered. Dates printed on Mobile Bar Codes, such as the Quick Response (QR) Codes available at the USPS, are not considered Postmark dates for the purpose of determining timely filing of an application.

Final Filing Date: 11/27/2023

Who May Apply

Individuals who are currently in the classification, eligible for lateral transfer, eligible for reinstatement, have list eligibility, are in the process of obtaining list eligibility, or have SROA and/or Surplus eligibility (please attach your letter, if available). SROA and Surplus candidates are given priority; therefore, individuals with other eligibility may be considered in the event no SROA or Surplus candidates apply. Individuals who are eligible for a Training and Development assignment may also be considered for this position(s).

Applications will be screened and only the most qualified applicants will be selected to move forward in the selection process.
Applicants must meet the Minimum Qualifications stated in the Classification Specification(s).

How To Apply

Complete Application Packages (including your Examination/Employment Application (STD 678) and applicable or required documents) must be submitted to apply for this Job Posting. Application Packages may be submitted electronically through your CalCareer Account at When submitting your application in hard copy, a completed copy of the Application Package listing must be included. If you choose to not apply electronically, a hard copy application package may be submitted through an alternative method listed below:

Address for Mailing Application Packages

You may submit your application and any applicable or required documents to:

Department of Fish and Wildlife
Attn: Human Resources Branch
P.O. Box 944209
Sacramento, CA 94244

Address for Drop-Off Application Packages

You may drop off your application and any applicable or required documents at:

Department of Fish and Wildlife
Human Resources Branch
Temporarily Closed
See Filing Instructions
Sacramento, CA 95814
08:00 AM - 05:00 PM

Required Application Package Documents

The following items are required to be submitted with your application. Applicants who do not submit the required items timely may not be considered for this job:

  • Current version of the State Examination/Employment Application STD Form 678 (when not applying electronically), or the Electronic State Employment Application through your Applicant Account at All Experience and Education relating to the Minimum Qualifications listed on the Classification Specification should be included to demonstrate how you meet the Minimum Qualifications for the position.
  • Resume is required and must be included.
  • Other -

    A Cover Letter is required and must be submitted along with your STD 678 application.

  • Statement of Qualifications -

    Statement of Qualifications must be no more the one page in length, size 12 point Arial font.

    1.) Please describe your experience working with native fishes and/or their habitats.
  • Other - A valid driver's  license is required. Please provide a photocopy of the front and back of your Driver's License (DL) clearly showing your name as stated on the license, issuing state, DL number, class and expiration. 
Applicants requiring reasonable accommodations for the hiring interview process must request the necessary accommodations if scheduled for a hiring interview. The request should be made at the time of contact to schedule the interview. Questions regarding reasonable accommodations may be directed to the EEO contact listed on this job posting.

Desirable Qualifications

In addition to evaluating each candidate's relative ability, as demonstrated by quality and breadth of experience, the following factors will provide the basis for competitively evaluating each candidate:

Knowledge of statistical tools used in fisheries research.
Knowledge of and experience with California native fish species.
Experience with developing and issuing permits.
Experience working in multi-disciplinary teams to achieve a common goal.


Benefit information can be found on the CalHR website and the CalPERS website.

Contact Information

The Hiring Unit Contact is available to answer questions regarding the position or application process.

Department Website:
Hiring Unit Contact:
Michael Eakin
(916) 838-9671

Please direct requests for Reasonable Accommodations to the interview scheduler at the time the interview is being scheduled. You may direct any additional questions regarding Reasonable Accommodations or Equal Employment Opportunity for this position(s) to the Department's EEO Office.

EEO Contact:
(916) 902-9211
California Relay Service: 1-800-735-2929 (TTY), 1-800-735-2922 (Voice) TTY is a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf, and is reachable only from phones equipped with a TTY Device.

Filing Instructions

You must reference Position Number 565-038-076-053 and RPA Number E-WATER 23-005 in the Examination(s) or Job Title(s) for Which You Are Applying section of the State Application Form (Std. Form 678). Applications that do not list the Position Number and RPA Number may not be considered.


We recommend applications are sent certified mail as we are unable to verify receipt.


Resume – Resumes will be reviewed in addition to the STD 678 for employment history. Resumes must include the complete to and from dates and hours worked per week.

Equal Opportunity Employer

The State of California is an equal opportunity employer to all, regardless of age, ancestry, color, disability (mental and physical), exercising the right to family care and medical leave, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, military or veteran status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religious creed, sex (includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and related medical conditions), and sexual orientation.

It is an objective of the State of California to achieve a drug-free work place. Any applicant for state employment will be expected to behave in accordance with this objective because the use of illegal drugs is inconsistent with the law of the State, the rules governing Civil Service, and the special trust placed in public servants.