Starhead topminnows are an endangered fish species in Wisconsin. There are no reports of breeding in zoos or aquariums, but there are a few cases of successful captive reproduction in the private sector.
In July 2007, the Milwaukee County Zoo collected several pairs of starhead topminnows to develop spawning techniques for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, should a captive breeding program become a necessity. We have continued to collect a few pairs each year since 2007 to maintain the genetic diversity of the Zoo’s captive population.
Fish from our program have been sent to the Urban Ecology Center, Milwaukee, and to other aquariums and nature centers for display purposes.