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 TitleThe Fish That is a Fluke
Common Name of FishSummer Flounder
Scientific Name of FishParalichthys dentatus
Image of FishImage of Fish
Image Caption and CreditSummer Flounder from NOAA website (noaateacheratsea.blog)
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

If you ask saltwater anglers from Massachusetts to North Carolina what fish they started fishing for first, it is likely the Summer Flounder also known as Fluke. Summer Flounder are a piscivorous flatfish that are about the most desirable to eat and often targeted fish on the Mid-Atlantic Coast. They reach up to 22 lbs and 3 feet in total length with most large fish being females. Anglers catch them from estuaries to nearshore marine waters and their species name (denatus) along with a very large mouth tells you that they like to eat, other fish. They create a bread and butter fishery that many summer visitors to that part of the coast look forward to catch and eat with recreational fisheries catching nearly 8 million pounds annually. Since they are a desirable and high value food fish, this species also supports a commercial fishery with annual catch of 11.5 million pounds. Rebuilding stocks and allocating catch annually creates plenty of users conflicts for managers.

Website or Journal Article for More Informationhttps://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/species/summer-flounder
Your NameGary Whelan