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 TitleArctic Grayling: Technicolor in Action
Common Name of FishArctic Grayling
Scientific Name of FishThymallus arcticus
Image of FishImage of Fish
Image Caption and CreditArctic Grayling, Ryan Hagerty, USFWS (public domain)
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

Do you want technicolor in action? Forget the movies. In nature, one of the most striking splashes of color is the Arctic Grayling. This torpedo-shaped cousin of salmon and trout lives in clear freshwaters of the Far North. Its large black eyes are ringed with gold, its pelvic fins bear pink or white stripes, its flanks are iridescent blue or silver with black spots and, on top, a large, sail-like dorsal fin covered in dashes of aquamarine blue. But wait, there’s action! Despite its delicate mouth, it is an aggressive feeder. It eats anything that drifts by: insects, crustaceans, fish eggs, small fish and even rodents. It will attack lure, bait or fly, assuring the success of any fishing trip. Anglers from novice to purist will enjoy watching it rise and take whatever is offered in a swirl and flash. For the best fishing, head upstream because that is where the big ones establish themselves in the best drift-feeding territories. They are a catch-and-release pleasure!

Website or Journal Article for More Informationhttps://www.fws.gov/ecological-services/highlights/12282015.html
Your NameJim Reynolds