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 TitleNorth America's ancient fish and a ballad of love and hate
Common Name of FishSea lamprey
Scientific Name of FishPetromyzon marinus
Image of Fish
  • Image of Fish
  • Image of Fish
  • Image of Fish
Image Caption and CreditAll images by Cory O. Brant
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

Before the time when dinosaurs ruled the earth, before animals had a hinged jaw or paired appendages, over 360 million years ago, lampreys looked, well, pretty much the same as they do today. Perhaps no other species of lamprey is both loathed and loved more than the sea lamprey. Sea lamprey are a destructive invasive species in the Great Lakes where they are controlled through a multi-million dollar international program which in turn allows a recreational, tribal, and commercial fishery to not only exist, but prosper. Just a few hundred miles outside of the Great Lakes Basin, along the east coast of North America, they're native, ecologically important, threatened, and in decline. Sea lamprey are living fossil, a model research organism for fields ranging from medicine, to evolution, to behavior, one of the world's most destructive invasive species, and one of the world's most exploited - making them fascinating, scary, and fitting for the 150 Fishes list.

Website or Journal Article for More Informationhttps://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/factsheet.aspx?SpeciesID=836
Your NameCory Brant