Fish/Game Warden

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Fish/Game Warden


Fishery officers work for governments, protecting the rights of fish and those who harvest them. Much like the downtown police officers who walk their regular beats, fishery officers monitor their assigned areas, enforcing federal and state regulations. They are involved in studies regarding growth and development of resources, as well as trying to pinpoint areas that are being depleted by illegal fishing or commercial encroachment. They monitor the natural fish stocks to ensure they are not depleted too rapidly by natural forces and human influences.

Without fishery officers, we might not have a lot of aquaculture left to protect. Their job is complex, and important. First of all, they enforce laws and standards set up by federal and state governments regarding fishing. They track people who are harvesting without a license or out of season, for example, and enforce appropriate laws and regulations.

They also work with the general public, especially those who work closer to urban centers. They give training courses on boating safety, fishing rights and the importance of preserving natural spaces. They may travel to schools and community centers, or give presentations out of resource centers, as well as at boating and fisheries functions, and marine Olympics.

The US is a special country in that it is blessed with access to oceans as well as many lakes and streams. The fish that swim in those waters are regularly threatened by over-fishing and illegal harvest. Fishery officers are important in that they protect our waters and the fish within them, maintaining a healthy balance to ensure many fish will be there for years and years to come.
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Concordia University - Portland

Online Learning at Concordia University–Portland

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  • M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Science



  Interests and Skills  
Interested in working as a fishery officer? These individuals should have a profound interest in nature and a concern for the environment,. They should enjoy being physically fit, and possess good communication skills, both in person and in writing. Fishery officers should be tactful, diplomatic and confident in their ability to handle difficult people and situations. They must be able to remain calm in stressful situations, and be thorough and patient when problem-solving. They should also be skilled at compiling information, gathering data and samples, and working with people, as well as able to work, and sometimes live, alone.

  Typical Tasks  
  • Monitor the activities of anglers, commercial fishers, industrial organizations and people using America's waters
  • Keep records of activities, environmental conditions, and anything else relating to the fisheries department
  • Assist other local law enforcement agencies
  • Recommend changes or amendments to legislation and regulations regarding conservation and fishing issues
  • Investigate unlicensed or unknown fishing vessels
  • Safeguard public safety in protected areas
  • Present information to the media, schools, recreational sporting clubs and civic groups
  • Investigate water pollution and habitat damage or destruction
  • Design and implement control measures to prevent or overcome damage caused by people and natural forces
  • Issue various licenses and permits
  • Fishery officers work hard to ensure the responsible use of the nation's protected areas and natural resources.They work primarily outdoors, and on the water year-round and in all weather conditions, as well as spend time in an office. They usually work long hours, and can be hard at work in the predawn hours of the morning, or during the darkness of late rural nights. They often work weekends and holidays they may have to respond to emergencies during their days or hours off. Occasionally, they give lectures in classroom settings, or go to court to give evidence against illegal fishers and fishing practices.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Fishery officers can work anywhere in America where there is water, mostly in coastal regions. New officers might not get to choose where they are sent. Employed by the governmental associations concerned with environmental protection, they can be sent to rural and remote locations.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Fishery officers can work in rural areas, or work in urban centers, monitoring fish in surrounding waters. They can advance to supervisory positions. Some may become police officers, environmental activists, teachers, or professors at postsecondary institutions. Others move on to become land use and rural planners.

  Educational Paths  


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition,
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002,

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Concordia University - Portland

Online Learning at Concordia University–Portland

Programs Offered:
  • M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Science

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