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 TitleAlligator Gar: River Monster or Charismatic Megafauna?
Common Name of FishAlligator Gar
Scientific Name of FishAtractosteus spatula
Image of FishImage of Fish
Image Caption and CreditCredit: Beth Beard
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

If having a scaly body, a large mouth and lots of pointed teeth qualifies something as a monster, then the Alligator Gar is definitely a river monster. In season one of the popular television show River Monster, host Jeremy Wade fished the Trinity River, Texas for this prehistoric fish that reaches lengths up to 10 ft. and weight of more than 300 lbs. Alligator Gar are charismatic megafauna, by virtue of their size, symbolic value, and popularity. Alligator Gar restoration is underway in many states where populations declined due to habitat alteration. The presence of a viable population of this keystone species indicates a healthy riverine fish community. Alligator Gar popularity is exemplified by the campaign of 11-year-old Henry Foster to have the Alligator Gar declared Arkansas’s state fish. According to Foster, Alligator Gar are “tough and unique.” Alligator Gar appear to be both river monster and charismatic megafauna.

Website or Journal Article for More InformationTransactions of the American Fisheries Society Special Section: Angling for Dinosaurs, https://afspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/toc/15488659/2018/147/4
Your NameSteve Lochmann