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Montana Import Regulations

Last updated: February 16th, 2021

! Important Notice !

Aquaculturists transporting or selling aquatic animals are responsible for following current regulations required by each state in which the activity occurs (selling or transporting) and are advised to contact state regulatory agencies responsible for permitting these activities.

Aquaculture – State of Montana:
State Aquaculture Regulatory Authorities   

Jay Pravecek
Hatchery Bureau Chief
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
P O Box 200701
Helena, MT 59620-0701
Phone (406) 444-3183

State Fish Health Authorities / Laboratories

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Fish Health Lab
4801 Giant Springs Road
Great Falls, MT 59405
Phone (406) 452-6181

Bozeman Fish Health Center
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
1805 South 22 Avenue, Suite #1
Bozeman, MT 59718
Phone (406) 582-8656

Aquaculture Industry Contacts

Aquaculture – Commercial in Montana
Dan Brandborg
Bitterroot Trout Hatchery
620 Fish Hatchery Road
Hamilton, MT 59840
Phone (406) 363-0443

Montana Live Fish Importation Summary

Fish importation into the State of Montana is regulated by the Montana Department of Fish Wildlife and Parks.  All importations of live fish or fish eggs for introduction into any private or public pond, stream, lake or other water in Montana, or fish transported through Montana, must be accompanied by a permit issued by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.  Application for an import permit must be made in writing on this form to the following address:

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Fish Health Lab
4801 Giant Springs Road
Great Falls, MT  59405
Phone (406) 452-6181

Permits and Licensing

Activities requiring permits or licensing include:
Commercial Fishing Pond
Commercial Bait Seining
Commercial Whitefish
Import Permits
Private Fish Ponds

Applications are available online.


Import regulations:

See Montana Administrative Rules and import permits at

See Montana State Codes at

(starting at 209 click "Next Section" to review all sections through 227):

pertinent sections:

87-3-210. Permit required for importation of nonsalmonid fish or eggs. Except when intended for use in home or office aquariums, importations of live nonsalmonid fish or eggs must be accompanied by a permit as described for salmonids in 87-3-221(2). The permit may require that the importation be inspected and approved by a department biologist prior to release or placement.

87-3-221. Importation of salmonid fish or eggs unlawful -- exception -- certification -- permit.

          (1) It is unlawful to bring live or dead salmonid fish or eggs into the state of Montana for any purpose unless the importations are shipped direct from the source to destination and a written certification that the source is free of all fish pathogens specified by the department as posing a threat to existing fisheries accompanies the shipment. Certification must be made by a fish pathologist approved by the director. Certification of the source may be by inspection conducted annually or at other times that the director may order.

         (2) In addition to the certification required in subsection (1), all importations of live salmonid fish or eggs must be accompanied by a permit issued by the department. The department shall issue an import permit upon application to the department showing that the proposed importations do not present a substantial threat to the health of state fisheries. The department may condition the permit as necessary to protect fisheries from the introduction and spread of pathogens. Import permits apply to all importations from specified and certified species and sources by a permittee until Januay 31 of the year succeeding the year of issuance, when the permit expires. However, a separate permit is required for importations by a permittee for species or from sources unspecified in the permittee's other permit or permits.