Though Xiphophorus fishes are among the best studied vertebrates genetically, largely because of availability of well characterized genetic stocks, maintenance of large numbers of genetic stocks requires constant effort and substantial funding. Texas State University San Marcos is providing excellent facilities and support for the stock center, but state funds for this institution are inadequate to ensure maintenance of the center. Federal grants have helped support the stock center through purchase of fish for research, but an increasing share of the budget must be generated from tax-exempt donations. Operating a genetic stock center is a continuing program; lack of funding for a year would result in the loss of more than six decades of carefully controlled breeding. For security of these priceless genetic resources, the goal of the center is to raise $3 million of endowed funds to support stock center maintenance for many years into the future. This endowment would support all day-to-day operations and provide funds for gradual expansion to include newly discovered species and construction and maintenance of new strains. Only liberation from year-to-year funding crises can assure continued availability of these fascinating fish to scientists and aquarists of the future.