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 TitleMini-Musky
Common Name of FishChain Pickerel
Scientific Name of FishEsox niger
Image of Fish
  • Image of Fish
  • Image of Fish
Image Caption and CreditMe and my fish with Lulu Moon, ca. 1964
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

The chain pickerel is native to my "home stream", the Eel River in Plymouth, Massachusetts. (I was too late in nominating the Eel's namesake, so I'm "settling" for the pickerel.) No doubt, the pickerel is the most fun fish for an 8 year old to catch (see photo). They hit anything. My dad and I caught them bare hooks, pieces of fabric, even on the old "pull tabs" from pop and beer cans before I actually started buying lures. I once landed one hanging on to a small pumpkinseed that I had hooked, its teeth embedded in that poor thing. My Uncle Phil and I were talking one day about a bridge we both fished near and we realized that both had been catching and releasing the same pickerel for at least two years! The acrobatic strikes of surface plugs tossed in the pickerel weed (of course!) edges of the Eel River were the source of many hundreds of hours of entertainment. What a great fish to get kids interested in fishing. BUT, watch those teeth! They are mini-muskies!

Your NameDave Haire