150 Fishes to Celebrate 150 Years

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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 TitleOur Loch Ness Monster
Common Name of FishWhite Sturgeon
Scientific Name of FishAcipenser transmontanus
Image of FishImage of Fish
Image Caption and CreditCaption: While White Sturgeon do not school, they aggregate when spawning in rivers and sometimes over desirable feeding habitats such as clam beds. Credit: Emily Miller
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

You may think you've spotted the arched reptilian back of the Loch Ness Monster when walking along a large Pacific Coast river. It's more likely, however, to be the largest freshwater fish in North America - the White Sturgeon. The longest reported sturgeon was around 20 feet, the heaviest was over 1700 pounds, and the oldest was estimated to be 104 years old. This fish looks like a dinosaur. Instead of scales it has rows of bony plates called scutes, a vacuum-like protrusible tube shaped mouth, and a shark-like heterocercal tail. It looks really old and its sturgeon relatives have, in fact, been swimming in these waters since the age of dinosaurs over 200 million years ago. Populations are threatened today by habitat alteration, water exportation, and altered hydrological regimes. The White Sturgeon has been sucking up clams and shrimp along the Pacific Coast of North America for millennia and we must ensure it continues to for the next millennium.

Website or Journal Article for More Informationhttps://escholarship.org/uc/item/7892b2wp
Your NameEmily Miller