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 are soliciting 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.
To nominate a fish, see the form below.
In the first box, please type the common name of the fish species you wish to nominate. In the second box, type an eye-catching title (limit 80 characters including spaces). In the third box, please provide a brief (1000 characters including spaces or less) story justifying inclusion of your fish nominee. In the fourth box, provide one or two links (i.e., URLs) to more information on your fish nominee. If possible, upload an un-copyrighted photo of your fish nominee together with an image caption and credit. In the next boxes provide your first and last names. Finally, include your email in case we need to reach you. Nominations have been extended until December 31, 2019.
A 10-person committee comprised of celebration committee members and members at large will make the selections. Only completed nominations will be considered. Selections will be based on the compelling nature of the justification for inclusion, the quality of the story, appeal to the membership and the public, and significance of the fish to fisheries and natural resources conservation and management in North America. Multiple nominations of the same species could require combining justification stories. In this case, all nominators that contributed material used will be acknowledged. The decision of the committee is final.
The committee will be tasked with fact-checking and proofing the justification stories. Each committee member will be responsible editing the justification stories for 15 fishes from the list.
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 Title||Alligator Gar: River Monster or Charismatic Megafauna?|
|Common Name of Fish||Alligator Gar|
|Scientific Name of Fish||Atractosteus spatula|
|Image of Fish|
|Image Caption and Credit||Credit: 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 Information||Transactions of the American Fisheries Society Special Section: Angling for Dinosaurs, https://afspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/toc/15488659/2018/147/4|
|Your Name||Steve Lochmann|