150 Fishes to Celebrate 150 Years

This list is still in progress and being added to weekly. Check back again soon!

150 Fishes to Celebrate 150 Years

In 2020, the American Fisheries Society will celebrate its 150th Anniversary. As part of the celebration, the Society will be calling attention to 150 fishes. We solicited nominations of fishes for the list by the Society’s membership.

The 150 Fishes list is a celebration of the biodiversity of freshwater and marine fishes of North America. These fishes will help tell the story of fish and fisheries of the continent. They may illustrate unique life histories, beauty, conservation issues, and challenges of managing and conserving these animals and their habitats.  These fishes represent our native biodiversity, but also illustrates how invasives and our own human nature have had impacts on our aquatic resources. Hence, this list will primarily focus on native species but may include non-natives when they tell a compelling fisheries story. From the stories of these fishes, the Society and the public can learn to better appreciate these amazing natural resources and be challenged to ensure that future generations will be able to experience these fishes in their native settings.

Nomination Process

Fish nominations are now closed.

Circulation Process

The 150 Fishes list will reside at the 150th Anniversary Website, information about individual fish from the list will be circulated through various social media platforms throughout the year.

This list is meant to be a fun for members and informative for the public. It is unlikely we will be able to include all nominations. We acknowledge that every fish has a story. There may be opportunities to discuss all the nominated fishes in the future.


Catchy TitleAmerican eel Be Dammed!
Common Name of FishAmerican eel
Scientific Name of FishAngulla rostrata
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

A Faculutive catamadrous species that is considered stable overall, the American Eel is disapearing on lakes throughout the Northeast United States and Canada where it as been the basis of healthy ecosystems.
Beginning life in the Saragasso Sea and maturing along the East Coasts of the Americas or as far inland as the Great Lakes and the tributaries of the Mississippi, the American Eel lives as much as twenty years before returning to its natal ocean plankton home to breed once and die.
Or at least it did. Habitat loss, broad target pesticides, the usual ignorance factor, and increasing dam heights crashed local populations beginning in the 1980's. Fisheries disappeared, Lakes went into bio-transition and no-one notices Still!
Restocking gains have stalled, more research has successfully bred more research. The common connection: where dam height went up the American Eel can not longer connect at a sustainable level with previous habitat.
The American Eel needs to be noticed!

Website or Journal Article for More InformationAFS has two journal publications on this species
Your NameDavid Thompson