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 TitleTake a walk on the wild side
Common Name of FishPancake Batfish
Scientific Name of FishHalieutichthys aculeatus
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

Fish swim. Everyone knows that. So it might seem wild and crazy to see a fish walking along the ocean bottom. But that's what the Pancake Batfish does. It literally lifts its body off the bottom and stands on two pairs of fins. It walks about the sandy bottom of the Gulf of Mexico looking for small snails, clams or shrimp to eat. The Pancake Batfish is small and round, like a pancake, and about 2-3 inches across. When it's not strolling across the sandy bottom, it lies flat on the partially covered with sand, possibly to avoid predators. Although it can swim, its flattened body and specialized fins are more appropriate for taking a stroll along the bottom. A cousin of the Pancake Batfish was discovered in 2010. This new species, Halieutichthys intermedius, was described and almost immediately put on the Endangered Species list, because it live in a part of the Gulf of Mexico impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Website or Journal Article for More Informationhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RM4LyLUH0go; https://www.texassaltwaterfishingmagazine.com/fishing/education/fishy-facts/na-na-na-na-na-na-na-batfish
Your NameSteve Lochmann