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 TitleA (blind) American Treasure
Common Name of FishOzark cavefish
Scientific Name of FishAmblyopsis rosae
Image of FishImage of Fish
Image Caption and CreditAmblyopsis rosae, an Ozark cavefish. Sketched by Michael Chaise Gilbert as part of #SundayFishSketch, on 29 Dec, 2019.
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

Despite being small and generally unnoticed, the Ozark cavefish, found within the Ozark Highlands of North American, is a unique fish species that exhibits near complete loss of eyes and a total loss of the optic nerve. These traits, among others, are the result of the evolutionary pressures associated with living in the numerous aquatic and subterranean cave systems that meander throughout the Ozarks. Habitat destruction and degradation continue to endanger this species and work needs to be done to further understand the ecological needs and life history of the species, in order to better preserve this unique gem.

Your NameMichael Chaise Gilbert