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 TitleAquatic Engineers: The Bluehead Chub
Common Name of FishBluehead Chub
Scientific Name of FishNacomis leptocephalus
Image Caption and CreditBrandon Peoples will have a picture
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

Bluehead chubs are a small freshwater fish that performs a very large role in its ecosystem. The Bluehead chub is an ecosystem engineer, very similar to the role a beaver or a prairie dog plays in their respective ecosystems. The Bluehead Chub builds a “wall” of small stones to create a nesting habitat. These “walls” can be as high as 2 feet and stretch to a length of 3 feet. These nests are not only used by spawning chubs, but by other minnow species as well. The bluehead chub helps create and maintain aquatic biodiversity and therefore deserves to be considered for AFS top 150.

Interesting fact: They say the first freshwater fish to be scientifically identified in North Carolina was the bluehead chub.

Website or Journal Article for More Informationhttps://thefisheriesblog.com/2016/01/19/deeper-understanding-from-shallow-streams/
Your NameRebecca Brown