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 TitleNiether Ling Nor Cod
Common Name of FishLingcod
Scientific Name of FishOphiodon elongatus
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

In their common name, Lingcod epitomize the attempts at classifying fish, starting with simple descriptive terms (ling means long from Middle Dutch) and gustatory value (cod was any fish that was good to eat). "Cod" is now recognized as a group of related fishes (typified by the family Gadidiae) with no spiny fins. In contrast, Lingcod are spiny scorpianfish relatives of the northeast Pacific related to rockfish (unrelated to the US eastcoast temperate bass that shares that name) which are marketed as Rock Cod or Pacific Red Snapper. The American Fisheries Society has been instrumental in the reassignment of common names, sometimes in recognition of ancestral relationship, but also to correct racial or cultural in-sensitivities such as changing Squaw Fish ( Ptychocheilus spp) to Pikeminnow, and Jewfish (Epinephelus itajara) to Goliath Grouper, ironically so given that Goliath was a historically infamous as a Jew killer.

Your NameThomas Grothues