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 TitleExtreme Survivor
Common Name of FishDesert Pupfish
Scientific Name of FishCyprinodon macularis
Image of FishImage of Fish
Image Caption and CreditCalifornia Department of Fish and Wildlife
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

The Desert Pupfish is a true desert specialist. This small, curious fish is found in marshes, pools, springs, and streams in the extreme environments of the lower Gila and Colorado River drainages in Arizona, California, and Mexico. This species is remarkably tolerant, able to survive water temperatures as high as 110°F and in salinity twice that of the ocean. This fish is testament to the ability of fish to survive in unforgiving landscapes and the resilience of desert species. However, there is a limit to its ability to survive, as threats from livestock grazing, introduced species, water diversion, and increased drying from climate change may hamper this species’ ability to persist. Though once common, few natural populations now remain, and it has been federally listed as endangered since 1986, becoming the subject of many conservation efforts and studies. Endemic and specialized species like the Desert Pupfish bolster the biodiversity of harsh landscapes like the desert.

Website or Journal Article for More InformationCenter for Biological Diversity, https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/fish/desert_pupfish/
Your NameKelsey Hollien