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 TitleGray Triggerfish: From Trash to Treasure
Common Name of FishGray Triggerfish
Scientific Name of FishBalistes capriscus
Image of FishImage of Fish
Image Caption and CreditGray Triggerfish off Alabama Jen Herbig
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

In the Gulf of Mexico, Gray Triggerfish was once considered a trash fish. Difficult to catch and difficult to fillet, more of a pest than a prize. However, due to increasing regulations on other species, fishers discovered its worth the effort and today this species supports an important recreational fishery in the Gulf of Mexico.

Not only is Gray Triggerfish tasty to eat but it also has a big personality and a unique life history compared to other reef fish in the Gulf of Mexico. Any diver will tell you, this species in highly territorial and not afraid to get in your face. Gray Triggerfish has a harem-like spawning system with males patrolling a territory while females guard the nest. After hatching, Gray Triggerfish float with sargassum mats for up to seven months. This extended larval phase means local spawning supports far away fisheries. These unique characteristics make Gray Triggerfish an interesting management challenge and a big hit with fishers and divers.

Website or Journal Article for More Informationhttp://sedarweb.org/sedar-62
Your NameJen Herbig