Bozeman Fish Technology Center
Mountain-Prairie Region
Graphic button showing the 8 state mountain prairie region

Bozeman Fish Technology Center

4050 Bridger Canyon Road | Bozeman, MT 59715
Hours: 8:00 am to 4:30 pm | Phone: (406) 587- 9265 | Fax: (406) 586-5942

About the center

History | Research Programs | Technical Assistance | Co-located Offices | Partners | Public Information | Staff | Open / Close All

About Us

Overhead photo of the Bozeman Fish Technology Center. Credit: Ken Benner

Present – Bozeman Fish Technology Center (BFTC) is one of six Fish Technology Centers within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Fisheries and Habitat Conservation Program working collaboratively with government, state, university, and private partners.

Fish Technology Centers provide leadership in development of new concepts, strategies, and technologies for science-based conservation and management of aquatic resources. Applied research and technical services of the BFTC are focused in the fields of Conservation Physiology and Ecology, Fish Nutrition and Diet Development, Fish Passage and Screening, and Sensitive Aquatic Species Conservation.

Bozeman Fish Technology Center Publications (PDF)

History »

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  • Historic photo of the Bozeman Fish Technology Center.
  • Historic photo of the Bozeman Fish Technology Center.
  • Historic photo of the Bozeman Fish Technology Center.
  • Historic photo of the Bozeman Fish Technology Center.
  • Historic photo of the Bozeman Fish Technology Center.


Bozeman National Fish Hatchery was established on August 5, 1892, for production and stocking of trout in Montana and surrounding states. Trout production ceased in 1966 when the hatchery was designated as a Fish Cultural Development Center to conduct research on developing methods for improving salmonid culture. In 1983, the facility was designated as a Fish Technology Center to conduct research and provide technical assistance on a variety of aquatic resource issues.

Research Programs »

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Photo of the Piper building. Credit: USFWS.

Research Programs

Researchers and technical staff at the Bozeman Fish Technology Center (BFTC) work collaboratively with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Fish Hatchery System, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Offices, Fish Health Centers, and other Federal, State, and private partners. The BFTC’s research focuses on recovery and restoration of sensitive, threatened, and endangered aquatic populations. We have Research Programs in the fields of Conservation Physiology and Ecology, Fish Nutrition and Diet Development, Sensitive Aquatic Species Conservation, Fish Passage and Screening.


Conservation Physiology and Ecology
Photo of a White-Sturgeon-Ultrasound. Credit: USFWS. The Research Program in Conservation Physiology and Ecology at the Bozeman Fish Technology Center focuses on understanding the physiological requirements and tolerances of threatened and endangered species. Technology Center researchers are working to determine the relative importance of environmental factors and the magnitude of change of key environmental factors required to elicit spawning and early life stage development as well as bottlenecks to recruitment failure. Less-invasive or non-invasive tools, such as measurement of plasma sex steroid and ultrasound, are used to assess sex and stage of maturity and spawning readiness in both wild and captive populations of threatened and endangered species to determine reproductive indices, i.e. age and size at sexual differentiation and maturity or the reproductive structure of populations.


Fish Passage and Screening
New Research Systems and Studies: (Photos clockwise from left) Artificial stream,  Open-channel flume, Swim tunnel The Research Program in Fish Passage and Screening at the Bozeman Fish Technology Center (BFTC) is a long-term, multi-agency partnership between the Montana State University Ecology Department, MSU-Western Transport Institute, and the BFTC to address fish passage informational needs in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain Region. Fish swimming and passage studies are performed using state of the art equipment and methods. Swimming abilities are determined using open channel flume experiments and Loligo swimming tube chambers. The hydraulic environment is characterized and measured in both 1-D and 3-D to aid in developing swimming performance curves. The results can be used to assess barriers, prioritize removals, and design fish passage ways to restore connectivity for fish species.

Lead Researcher: Kevin Kappenman | View current projects

Nutrition and Diet Development
Rainbow Trout Feeding Frenzy.jpg Photo Credit:  Eli Cureton / USFWS The Research Program in Fish Nutrition and Diet Development is a cooperative effort with Dr. Rick Barrows of the USDA, Agricultural Research Service Trout-Grains Program. Recent work includes development of plant-based fish feeds to reduce reliance on ocean forage fish for fish feed protein. A one-of-a-kind nutrition laboratory onsite allows for the manufacturing of experimental larval, fingerling, and broodstock fish feeds and the testing of many different kinds of ingredients to improve fish performance and quality. This program also develops specialized diets for use in captive rearing of endangered fish species like woundfin, razorback sucker, June sucker and Rio-Grande silvery minnow.

Lead Researchers: Dr. Gibson Gaylord and Dr. Wendy Sealey | View current projects

Sensitive Aquatic Species Conservation
Woundfin spawning on Marbles.jpg Photo Credit: Aaron Nistler / USFWS The Research Program in Sensitive Aquatic Species Conservation focuses on restoration efforts for threatened, endangered, and other native species of special concern. Currently, the Bozeman Fish Technology Center imports fish into the facility and/or maintains captive populations of woundfin, pallid sturgeon, shovelnose sturgeon, cutthroat trout, and arctic grayling.

Lead Researcher: Dr. Molly Webb | View current projects

Technical Assistance »

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Technical Assistance

The Bozeman Fish Technology Center offers Technical Assistance to national and state fish hatcheries, conservation propagation programs, fish management offices, state, tribal and non-governmental organizations in the following areas:

  • Spawning and Reproduction
  • Histological Analysis
  • Specialized Feed Development
  • Fish Tissue and Feed Analysis
  • Fish Passage and Screens
  • Water Treatment and Recirculating Systems
  • Water Quality and Monitoring
  • Constructed Wetland Technology
  • Traditional and Intensive Fish Culture
  • Aquatic Ecosystem Health
  • HACCP Planning
  • Teaching and Training Courses (Fish Culture, Fish Physiology, Fish Nutrition, Water Treatment and Processes)

For more information about technical assistance, please contact:

Dr. Robert Muth, Center Director
(406) 994-9903

Co-located Offices »

Partners »

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Volunteers at Ennis Earth Day. Credit: USFWS. Montana Outdoor Science School (MOSS)
The Bozeman Fish Technology Center (BFTC) has been joined on site by the Montana Outdoor Science School (MOSS), Bozeman’s non-profit outdoor science education organization. MOSS moved their administrative offices to the Center grounds as part of an expansion of their partnership with the BFTC. MOSS has been sponsoring outdoor science programs at the Bozeman for over a decade, including the annual Watershed Festival and Make-a-Splash Day. By moving to the Center, MOSS is provided office space and has access to a spectacular array of natural areas for use as outdoor classrooms. In return, BFTC will gain assistance with outreach and can host and participate in outdoor education programs for children.

MOSS History
Nearly 16 years ago, Martha Collins, Louise Forrest, and Martha Kauffman started a summer camp with the simple goal of creating fun, hands-on nature experiences for kids. Armed with experience as educators, mediators, scientists, authors, and moms, the trio shared an extraordinary vision that our lives are enriched when we have a greater understanding of our natural surroundings.

Today, MOSS has grown to reach thousands of students within Gallatin Valley and beyond through year-round K-12 programming. Offerings include MOSS programs during school, after school, PIR days, community-wide festivals, and our signature summer camp series. MOSS is committed to getting kids outside, engaging students in place-based inquiry activities, and training educators in cutting-edge teaching practices.

The community benefits from this partnership through increased use of public trails and natural areas as well as interpretation of the BFTC science and research program, coordinated by education professionals. In the future, this partnership could lead to community projects like a nature center or outdoor venue to host educational events.To learn more about MOSS, visit:

Public Information »

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Kids Fishing Derby at BFTC. Photo Credit: USFWS Visit Us
Many visitors come to tour the Bozeman Fish Technology Center (BFTC) to see the fish and experience the diverse natural setting. Children enjoy feeding the trout in the pond, while nature enthusiasts enjoy the incredible outdoor setting along Bridger Creek and adjacent to the Gallatin National Forest by walking the nature trails. For your safety and for the benefit of the BFTC's research programs, please respect signs and facility access limitations.

Business Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Use of Conference Room and Grounds
The public can reserve use of the Conference Room and grounds for private functions. Reservations are scheduled through the Montana Outdoor Science School. To obtain a copy of use guidelines or inquire about availability, contact the Montana Outdoor Science School at (406) 582-0526 or send an email to Please plan reservations at least one month in advance.

National Public Trails Day and National Public Lands
These days are the nation’s largest hands-on volunteer efforts to improve and enhance the public trails and lands that Americans enjoy. In 2005, nationwide, nearly 90,000 volunteers built trails and bridges, planted trees and plants, and removed trash and invasive plants. In the Bozeman Area, Gallatin Valley Land Trust, Montana Conservation Corp, MOSS, Circle K International, Center staff and community volunteers come together in June and September to remove invasive weeds along Bridger Creek and improve the Center’s trail system.

Volunteer Opportunities
The Center is developing a volunteer program with MOSS to provide community service at the Center. Work ranges from grounds, trails and fish culture, to giving tours and working with the Friends of the Center. If you are interested in learning more about what you can do to get involved, please call (406) 994-9952 or go to

Staff »

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Bozeman Fish Technology Staff 2011. Credit: USFWS. Bozeman Fish Technology Staff Directory


Cal Fraser, Fishery Biologist
(406) 994-9948

Gibson Gaylord, Physiologist
(406) 994-9918

Jon Gilleen, Maintenance Mechanic
(406) 994-9914

Kevin Kappenman, Research Fishery Biologist
(406) 994-9917

Robert Muth, Center Director
(406) 994-9902

 Leif Halvorson, General biologist
(406) 994-9910

Wendy Sealey, Physiologist
(406) 994-9908

Jason Ilgen, Biological Sciences Technician
(406) 994-9930

Matt Toner, Hatchery Manager/Fishery Biologist
(406) 994-9915

Molly Webb, Research Fishery Biologist
(406) 994-9907

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with Others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American People.
Last modified: July 24, 2019
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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