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 TitleYou can tell it’s a yellowfin because the fins are red
Common Name of FishYellowfin shiner
Scientific Name of FishNotropis lutipinnis (Jordan and Brayton, 1878)
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Image Caption and CreditYellowfin shiners in the upper Little Tennessee River, photos by Maribel Mafla Herrera.
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

It is hard to hate beautiful people. Harder yet if you live in the area where Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina come together, where the invasive species you are obligated to hate in northern Rabun County, GA is a Species of Special Concern just over the hill in southern Rabun County. Since the 80s the yellowfin shiner has been moving down the Little Tennessee River and into its tributaries in Georgia and North Carolina, competing and hybridizing with the native Tennessee shiner (Notropis leuciodus). According to Wood and Mayden (1992), N. lutipinnis is composed of several different forms – some of which have yellow fins. It does not explain why, when DNA from red-finned Little Tennessee specimens is compared with fish from Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico drainages, no matches are found. The yellowfin is one of our most beautiful fish, and highly visible when spawning on chub nests. It would be nice if it weren’t categorized as an “enemy alien." (Contributions by: W.O. McLarney)

Website or Journal Article for More Informationhttps://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/factsheet.aspx?SpeciesID=602
Your NameJenny Sanders