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 TitleOne fish, two fish, Redfish!
Common Name of FishSockeye Salmon
Scientific Name of FishOncorhynchus nerka
Image of FishImage of Fish
Image Caption and CreditSpawning Sockeye Salmon (NOAA Fisheries)
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

Sockeye Salmon, the iconic bright red spawning salmon with green heads and humped backs, support one of the world's most valuable fisheries, the Bristol Bay (AK) Sockeye fishery, where commercial fishers harvest 10 million to as many as 30 million Sockeye Salmon each year. Great abundance and high-quality flesh make the Sockeye the most commercially valuable species of Pacific salmon. Like other Pacific salmon, Sockeye spawn in freshwater (usually in drainages with lakes), with juveniles spending some time in freshwater before "smolting" downstream to the ocean. All but two stocks of Sockeye Salmon reside in Alaska or Canada. Sockeye returning to Redfish Lake, ID travel farther (900 miles) than any other stock of Sockeye to spawn. The Redfish Lake stock is listed as Endangered and nearly went extinct in the 1990s. In 1992, only one fish (Lonesome Larry) made it back to Redfish Lake. A landlocked form of Sockeye, kokanee, provide popular recreational fisheries in many western lakes.

Website or Journal Article for More Informationhttps://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=sockeyesalmon.main
Your NameSteve L. McMullin