150 Fishes to Celebrate 150 Years

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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 TitleWaterfall climbing fish of Puerto Rico
Common Name of FishSirajo Goby
Scientific Name of FishSicydium plumieri
Image of FishImage of Fish
Image Caption and CreditA sirajo goby from Río Cañas, near Ponce, Puerto Rico.
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

Climbing a waterfall is the last major hurdle of the specialized life cycle of a sirajo goby. Larvae hatch in high altitude streams and are swept to the sea during the tropical rainy season. Hitching a ride on ocean currents, juveniles store energy for a climb equivalent to a human scaling six Empire State Buildings. As tides deliver juvenile sirajos to river mouths, individuals fight an upstream gauntlet to finally complete their journey in high mountain streams. These fish are built to climb by tenuously gripping the slick rock behind a waterfall with their single suction-cup-like fin. Tall waterfalls are surmountable, but dams with dry facades, are impassable obstacles. The fate of the sirajo is largely dependent on the fate of dams. Migration restoration represents the final hurdle this river jewel must overcome to once again be free to climb waterfalls in rivers throughout the Caribbean. Dam removals have begun and this fish has helped demonstrate the value of these projects.

Website or Journal Article for More Informationhttps://thefisheriesblog.com/2012/08/27/waterfall-climbing-fish/
Your NamePatrick Cooney