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 TitleHealthy live bait for recreational fishing
Common Name of FishGolden Shiner
Scientific Name of FishNotemigonus crysoleucas
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

Golden Shiner are the most important baitfish in North America. Native to the eastern half of the continent, they transfer energy from plankton up the food chain to sportfish. Their popularity as bait created an industry in the southern US, where they are raised in earthen ponds. Culture of Golden Shiner reduced harvest of wild fish for bait. This is good, because it reduced accidental fish introductions associated with transport and sale of wild caught bait. Golden Shiner leaving farms usually have a health certificate, reducing the possible spread of diseases among states where farmed Golden Shiner are bought and sold. Unfortunately, sale of Golden Shiner in states west of the Rocky Mountains combined with the tendency of fishermen to release unused bait at the end of the day has resulted in Golden Shiner becoming established outside their native range. Despite the good and bad surrounding Golden Shiner, they are an important part of recreational fishing and the natural environment.

Website or Journal Article for More Informationhttps://www.was.org/articles/Weedy-Waters-Golden-Shiner-Biology-and-Culture.aspx#.XpCpGMhKiUk
Your NameSteve Lochmann