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 TitleSay ah… the fish that’s an oral hygienist
Common Name of FishCaribbean Neon Goby
Scientific Name of FishElacatinus lobeli
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

Fish can’t brush their teeth, but they can visit a oral hygienist. The Caribbean Neon Goby advertises its services by swimming back and forth at their cleaning station. Damselfish, grunt, and other reef fishes line up to be cleaned. Fish looking for a teeth cleaning will pose at the cleaning station, attracting the attention of this goby. The Caribbean Neon Goby feeds on parasites present in the mouth, throat and gills of their clients. Fishes spend a few minutes up to half an hour being attended, depending upon the number of parasites to be removed. If a fish that eats fish lines up to be cleaned, the Caribbean Neon Goby will skip other waiting fish to service the predator first. The client and the Caribbean Neon Goby mutually benefit from this relationship. This symbiotic activity is important for the entire fish community. Reefs with cleaner fish like the Caribbean Neon Goby have a greater diversity of species and higher abundances of fishes.

Website or Journal Article for More Informationhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elacatinus
Your NameSteve Lochmann