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 TitleAlaska Blackfish: An Arctic Survivalist
Common Name of FishAlaska Blackfish
Scientific Name of FishDallia pectoralis
Image of FishImage of Fish
Image Caption and CreditCredit: Ned Rozell
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

The Alaska Blackfish could be a Jack London legend. Stories abound of its ability to survive being frozen. A sled dog eats frozen blackfish then vomits them up - the fish begin flopping about. A cook drops frozen blackfish into a skillet then sees them jump out like popcorn. Fish biologists have proved that blackfish cannot survive complete freezing. But they can survive freezing of the head and skin. Blackfish live in backwaters and ponds that form ice in winter. They have gills and an esophagus modified for gas absorption; they can breathe both air and water. They tolerate low oxygen in water during winter. If oxygen gets too low, they swirl the water near an ice hole to keep it open while breathing air. In a backwater, ice forms before the water recedes, leaving a space between the ice and bottom. The blackfish curls up in vegetation, secretes mucus over its body for insulation and breathes air until spring breakup. No wonder the Alaska Blackfish is the stuff of legends!

Website or Journal Article for More Informationhttp://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=wildlifenews.view_article&articles_id=207
Your NameJim Reynolds