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 TitleCatadromous fish scales rock walls to gain freedom in the open sea!
Common Name of FishAmerican Eel
Scientific Name of FishAnguilla rostrata
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

The American Eel is N. America's only catadromous fish and was once our most common fish (2/3 by biomass). They inhabit saltwater, fresh water, and brackish water: nothing stops them! They can climb, and even ascend waterfalls. They are an economic mainstay of North America and have been as far as we know ever since there were people here; they are still economically significant. Glass eels are the most expensive fish per pound on the East Coast. Even if they were not a culturally and economically significant fish, they would be worthy of our love and admiration simply for their sheer perseverance. They are a thoroughly American fish!

Your NameEllie Miller