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 TitleYour first fish
Common Name of FishChannel Catfish
Scientific Name of FishIctalurus punctatus
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

For many new fishermen across North America, a Channel Catfish is the first fish they catch. Initially found throughout the Mississippi River basin, the range of Channel Catfish now includes places as far away as Puerto Rico and Hawaii. Though we now understand the danger of introducing fish where they don’t belong, the Channel Catfish became widespread because it is easy to grow and easy to catch. They are the largest part of U.S. aquaculture. Some Channel Catfish producers sell to fee fishing pay lakes, where fisherman pay by the pound for fish they catch. State natural resource agencies produce Channel Catfish for stocking into community fishing ponds. Fishing for Channel Catfish is easy, with bait varying from hot dogs and chicken livers to store-bought stink bait. One could think of Channel Catfish as a gateway fish. For many new anglers, a lifetime of fishing begins with a Channel Catfish caught during a fishing derby or from a stocked pond.

Website or Journal Article for More Informationhttps://www.fws.gov/fisheries/freshwater-fish-of-america/channel_catfish.html
Your NameSteve Lochmann