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 TitleThe darter at the end of the Rainbow
Common Name of FishRainbow Darter
Scientific Name of FishEtheostoma caeruleum
Image of FishImage of Fish
Image Caption and CreditRainbow Darter male sampled on a tributary to the Turkey River, Howard County, Iowa (taken by Brett Kelly)
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

Although maximum size of this fish is only around 3 inches, they are easily one of the most colorful and beautiful fish that freshwaters have to offer. Rainbow darters typically inhabit streams and small rivers in or near riffles with clean gravels and rubble. Even though these fish are small, their diet composition suggests they are highly predatory on macroinvertebrate larvae and a variety of fish eggs. Rainbow Darters are often cited as an indicator species, and inhabit streams with higher water quality.

Website or Journal Article for More InformationUSGS (NAS) - https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/factsheet.aspx?SpeciesID=809, http://www.biokids.umich.edu/critters/Etheostoma_caeruleum/#E25107D1-980B-11E3-93FF-002500F14F28
Your NameBrett Kelly