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 TitleFish swim and birds fly… most of the time
Common Name of FishAtlantic Flyingfish
Scientific Name of FishCheilopogon melanurus
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

Everybody knows that fish swim and birds fly. Did you know that some fish fly? The Atlantic flyingfish is a small silver fish with enlarged pectoral fins that look a lot like wings. This fish doesn’t actually flap its fins to fly. Rather, it swims below the surface gathering speed and then jumps out of the water, spreading its pectoral fins to glide above the waves. Sometimes, Atlantic flyingfish can be seen beating the elongate lower half of their tail in the water to continue adding thrust to their flight. Atlantic flyingfish make flights of more than 150 feet, but updrafts from waves can extend their flights to more than 1200 feet. Scientists believe flyingfish leave the water to avoid aquatic predators. However, flyingfish can also be preyed upon by birds while they are flying. Sometimes, you just can’t win.

Website or Journal Article for More Informationhttp://www.loyno.edu/lucec/natural-history-writings/flying-fish-missiles-sea
Your NameSteve Lochmann