150 Fishes to Celebrate 150 Years

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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 TitleYou'll get a charge out of this one
Common Name of FishPacific electric ray
Scientific Name of FishTorpedo californica
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

The Pacific electric ray looks like other skates and rays. Its body is flat and round, like a pancake. It is unique because only a handful of rays have the ability to generate electricity. Special organs, derived from muscle, on the underside of the Pacific electric ray allow this fish to generate up to 45 volts of electricity. This shocking ability can be used by the Pacific electric ray to defend itself against a predator. Also, electricity can be used to subdue prey. During the day, Pacific electric rays may lie partially buried on the bottom, waiting to ambush prey. At night, the Pacific electric ray roams reefs and kelp forests off the California coast actively hunting prey. In either case, when the Pacific electric ray envelops prey with its body and "hugs" them, the results is a "shocking" embrace.

Website or Journal Article for More Informationhttps://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animal-guide/fishes/pacific-electric-ray
Your NameSteve Lochmann