There are no specific conservation measures currently targeted at this small, poorly-known fish (1). Conservation efforts for the pugnose shiner should include the protection of its habitat, in particular maintaining water quality and preserving aquatic vegetation (1) (10) (11), as well as monitoring non-native species and studying the pugnose shiner’s interactions with predators and competitors (1) (9) (10).
It will also be important to clarify the pugnose shiner’s current distribution and abundance, as well as to determine the minimum viable population size for this species (1) (10). In addition, studies are needed into the pugnose shiner’s biology, habitat requirements and life history (8) (11).
In Canada, the pugnose shiner is listed as ‘Endangered’ by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) (14) and is on Schedule 1 of the Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA), meaning that it is illegal to kill, capture or harm this species in any way. It also means that critical habitat for the pugnose shiner is protected (3). A requirement of the Species at Risk Act is that recovery and management plans are put in place for the species (3), and as part of this a recovery assessment has been developed (9).
A number of general conservation measures have been put in place for some of the river systems inhabited by the pugnose shiner. These include public awareness programmes and working with landowners to reduce the impacts of agricultural activities on river ecosystems (3).