The Bozeman Fish Health Center provides services to eight western states including Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.

About Us

Fish Health Centers operate as part of the Fish and Aquatic Conservation Program to provide aquatic animal health services and information that contribute to health, survival, restoration and enhancement of fish and other aquatic species in support of national and regional priorities. Centers collaborate with partners to provide diagnostics, monitoring, investigations, certifications and training related to free-ranging and cultured populations. Centers coordinate the Wild Fish Health Survey and address emerging pathogen concerns through applied research and innovative management strategies. 

What We Do

The Center is comprised of multiple distinct laboratories that collaborate to ensure the health of hatchery-reared fish, monitor health in wild aquatic animal populations, including early detection and surveillance of aquatic invasive species invasive species
An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.

Learn more about invasive species
, including New Zealand mudsnails, zebra mussels, and Invasive Carp.

Our Organization

Juvenile Northern Pike in aquarium at Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery, South Dakota
The Fish and Aquatic Conservation program leads aquatic conservation efforts for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We are committed to tackling the nation’s highest priority aquatic conservation and recreational challenges to conserve, restore, and enhance fisheries for future generations.
A half dozen large silver fish jumping out of the water to a height of six feet.
Aquatic invasive species cause tremendous harm to our environment, our economy, and our health. They can drive out and eat native plants and wildlife, spread diseases, and damage infrastructure. We work to protect our waterways and the communities that depend on them from the threat of invasive...
A fish with a reddish tone body with black spots on upper part of body, this side view of a Chinook salmon shows the salmon swimming right above a gravel riverbed.
Healthy fisheries are core to the conservation work of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We are working with partners to protect and enhance the health of fish and other aquatic animals in aquaculture and in the wild.

Our Species

 The Bozeman Fish Health Center and our partners work with many native and non-native species. Some are threatened or endangered species undergoing restoration efforts.  Increasingly, species other than ‘typical’ aquaculture species require the Center’s attention as the Fish and Wildlife Service provides propagation capabilities to species such as Wyoming Toad, Pallid Sturgeon, and endangered mussels. New species may encounter many of the same issues associated with disease outbreaks when introduced to a culture environment: higher densities than encountered in the wild, closed environments, and stress from the presence of, and handling by, people. Our responsibilities under the endangered species Act include conserving declining species before listing is necessary, working to recover listed species and cooperating with partners and other Federal Agencies to conserve endangered species. 

A pallid sturgeon swims along a rocky stream bed. The fish is long and slender, with whiskers and small ridges along its back and sides.

The pallid sturgeon was first recognized as a species different from shovelnose sturgeon by S. A. Forbes and R. E. Richardson in 1905 based on a study of nine specimens collected from the Mississippi River near Grafton, Illinois (Forbes and Richardson 1905). They named this new species...

FWS Focus
Three men hold a long, shiny, gray fish in the water near the edge of a river.

The Kootenai River white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) is 1 of 18 land-locked populations of white sturgeon known to occur in western North America. Kootenai sturgeon occur in Idaho, Montana, and British Columbia, Canada, and are restricted to approximately 167.7 River Mile (RM) of the...

FWS Focus
A spotted fish laying on a gravel stream bottom

Greenback cutthroat trout are coldwater fish belonging to the trout, salmon and whitefish family. They have dark, round spots on the sides and tail and two colorful blood-red stripes on each side of the throat under the jaw, hence the name "cutthroat." During the spring spawning season the...

FWS Focus
A fish in hand with dark circular spots along it's side

The Bonneville cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki utah) is a subspecies of Cutthroat trout that once inhabited the Late Pleistocene-aged Lake Bonneville of Utah, eastern Nevada, and Southern Idaho (USA). Since the desiccation of Lake Bonneville into Great Salt Lake which is too salty for any...

FWS Focus
Steelhead are usually dark olive in color, shading to silvery white on the underside with a heavily speckled body and a pink-to-red stripe running along their sides.

Steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) belong to the family Salmonidae which includes all salmon, trout, and chars. Steelhead are similar to some Pacific salmon in their life cycle and ecological requirements. They are born in fresh water streams, where they spend their first 1-3 years of life....

FWS Focus
Bull trout and kokanee salmon underwater

Bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) are members of the family Salmonidae and are char native Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Montana and western Canada. Compared to other salmonids, bull trout have more specific habitat requirements that appear to influence their distribution and abundance....

FWS Focus
An arctic grayling showing large, sail-like dorsal fin and colorful body markings.

Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) is a freshwater fish in the same family (Salmonidae) as salmon, trout, and whitefish. A distinctive morphological characteristic of this fish is its large, sail-like dorsal fin. Arctic grayling is an obligate cool- or cold-water species. Individual fish can...

FWS Focus
A Silver carp jumping out of the water with boat wake below and a tree lined shoreline in the background

Silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) are one of four nonnative fish species belonging to a group commonly referred to as “invasive carp”. Native to eastern Asia, silver carp were introduced to the United States during the 1970’s and 1980’s to private fish farms and wastewater...

FWS Focus
Underwater photo of a bighead carp in a tank with white background

Bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) are native to eastern Asia and are one of four nonnative fish referred to as “invasive carp”. These fish are large, deep bodied fish that have a large head and a large toothless mouth with a protruding lower jaw. The bighead carp eyes are far...

FWS Focus

Visit Us

Welcome to the Bozeman Fish Health Center –located in the Heart of Big Sky Country in Bozeman, MT. Located just west of Montana State University campus in 5,431 square feet of research, laboratory and office space. 



Our Library

Our monthly newsletters provide brief descriptions of the work that we have been performing around the region.

Get Involved

Outreach and ways to get involved 

The Bozeman Fish Health Center staff are active in supporting and participating in activities and events for community groups, schools and other conservation agencies. Our staff makes visits to schools and groups, participates in career fairs, fishing derbies, pollinator events, sports shows, and other events in order to share their knowledge and passion for Aquatic and natural resources with the community. 

Location and Contact Information