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 Spiny Dogfish: North America's Most Abundant and Overlooked Shark
Common Name of FishSpiny Dogfish
Scientific Name of FishSqualus acanthias
Image of FishImage of Fish
Image Caption and CreditSpiny Dogfish kept in captivity for a study in their daily feeding ration. Photo by Chuck Bangley.
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

The Spiny Dogfish is likely the first shark most people in North America encounter, either through dissecting one in biology class or catching one while fishing for just about anything else in temperate marine waters. They are unique among North American coastal sharks for the defensive spines on their dorsal fins and for traveling in massive schools of hundreds to thousands. Though smaller than most of the species seen on Shark Week, Spiny Dogfish are able to use their cutting teeth to eat fishes larger than themselves but feed mostly on small fishes, crustaceans, and even comb jellies. Spiny Dogfish are perhaps best known for their interactions with fisheries and have a reputation for clogging entire nets while eating the whole catch. However, these sharks are also directly targeted by fisheries and make up the majority of shark landings in the U.S. and Canada. Thanks to careful management the U.S. Spiny Dogfish fishery is one of the very few verified sustainable shark fisheries.

Your NameChuck Bangley