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 TitleThe best-kept secret of large rivers!
Common Name of FishBlue Sucker
Scientific Name of FishCycleptus elongatus
Image of Fish
  • Image of Fish
  • Image of Fish
Image Caption and CreditBlue Suckers being researched in the Wabash River. Credits: Dakota Radford & Cassi Mood-Carpenter
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

Blue Suckers are not only large fish (up to 3 feet long) but also unique fish! Found only in North America, Blue Suckers migrate hundreds of miles in large rivers including the Mississippi, the Missouri, and the Rio Grande. They live in deep, swift currents and are rarely seen by recreational visitors. Blue Suckers used to be plentiful and an important food source for humans through the 1800’s. In the past hundred years their populations have been impacted by dams that block the way upriver and by the altered water levels that dams enable. Of the twenty-three states that Blue Suckers were historically found, they are now gone from one, state threatened or endangered in five, and listed as a species of special concern in seven more states. In 1993, this species was a candidate for federal protection. Sadly, there was not enough information at that time to make a decision. Now, researchers are working to learn more about the mysterious Blue Sucker to protect its future in our rivers.

Your NameDakota Radford