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 TitleAmazing and Endangered
Common Name of Fishsmalltooth sawfish
Scientific Name of FishPristis pectinata
Image of Fish
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Image Caption and CreditCredit Tonya Wiley
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

Sawfish are shark-like rays named for their saw-shaped rostra. There are five species of sawfishes worldwide and all are classified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as Endangered or Critically Endangered. With no confirmed reports of largetooth sawfish (Pristis pristis) in the United States in nearly 80 years, only the smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) remains in U.S. waters. Smalltooth sawfish were once found in the Gulf of Mexico from Texas to Florida and along the Atlantic Coast from Florida to North Carolina. However, their distribution has decreased greatly over the past century because of fishing mortality and habitat loss and they are now regularly found only in southwest Florida. NOAA Fisheries listed the smalltooth sawfish as Endangered under the Endangered Species Act in 2003. Thanks to more than 15 years of concerted research and recovery efforts, the U.S. smalltooth sawfish population is thought to be stabilized and perhaps increasing.

Website or Journal Article for More Informationhttp://www.sawfishrecovery.org/; https://www.int-res.com/articles/esr2019/39/n039p009.pdf
Your NameTonya Wiley