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 TitleElusive Elderfish
Common Name of Fishelderfish
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

I nominate the wild and elusive elderfish. The elderfish has no one specific scientific name, it is any and all species, but only the oldest individuals. Elderfish are individuals that have survived long enough to see and do more than any other of their kind. To other fish elderfish may be an attractive mate, the school-shoal master, or a set of jaws to avoid. To humans elderfsih are among the most inspiring fish and to Fisheries Biologists they are the elusive pinnacle of information. One elderfish may have record of the 1964 tsunami, the 76-77 drought, the 83-84 El Nino, and much more. Three or more elderfish can elevate length, growth and population dynamics to head and pectoral fins above other work. However, the most value of an elderfish may be images of people interacting with them in the wild to perpetuate knowledge of fully grown individuals and avoid baseline shift to exclusively half-grown maximum yield adolescents.

Karl Brookins

Your NameKarl Brookins