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 TitleThe Gila Topminnow - A Symbol of Southwestern Fish Conservation
Common Name of FishGila Topminnow
Scientific Name of FishPoeciliopsis occidentalis
Image of FishImage of Fish
Image Caption and CreditFemale (left) and male (right) Gila Topminnows. Photo Credit: Bruce Taubert and the Arizona Game and Fish Department
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

What the Gila Topminnow lacks in size, it makes up for with its importance to biodiversity and conservation in the southwestern United States. The Gila Topminnow is part of a unique group of fishes that exhibit internal fertilization and give birth to live offspring. Once found in ponds, streams, and cienegas (marshes) throughout Arizona and New Mexico, the species became extinct throughout much of its native range due to habitat loss and the introduction of the invasive Eastern Mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis). In 1967, with only a handful of populations left, the Gila Topminnow became one of the first fish species to receive protection from the Endangered Species Act. Since then, countless reintroduction efforts have helped repopulate the species throughout the region. Efforts to protect and reestablish the Gila Topminnow are ongoing and demonstrate fish biologists' firm commitment to protecting aquatic diversity in the Southwest and throughout North America.

Website or Journal Article for More Informationhttps://ecos.fws.gov/ecp0/profile/speciesProfile?spcode=E00C#bo
Your NameSteven Ingram