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 TitleShould I Stay or Should I Go Now
Common Name of FishSteelhead Trout
Scientific Name of FishOncorhynchus mykiss
Image of FishImage of Fish
Image Caption and CreditCaption: Oncorhynchus mykiss Credit: USFWS
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

O. mykiss is a complicated species. It has multiple life history forms - some are resident in rivers and known as rainbow trout, while others are known as steelhead. Steelhead are anadromous, making long migrations to the ocean for their adulthood. Even more diverse than just these two forms, they exhibit a spectrum of behavior. Juvenile steelhead can take one, two, or three years before heading to the ocean, and rear in the river or a coastal lagoon. Rainbow Trout can make entirely freshwater migrations. Rainbow trout can produce steelhead offspring and vise versa but most often they produce their same form. A complex suite of genetic and environmental factors influence these determinations. Flexibility is the name of the game. This flexibility allows populations to survive through wet and drought years, when barriers block migration from the river to the ocean, and through warm ocean years. O. mykiss is evolved to handle whatever an unpredictable environment throws at it.

Website or Journal Article for More Informationhttps://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/species/steelhead-trout
Your NameEmily Miller