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 TitleGasper gooooo! Drum act as Ubers by dispersing imperiled freshwater mussels
Common Name of FishFreshwater Drum
Scientific Name of FishAplodinotus grunniens
Image of FishImage of Fish
Image Caption and CreditEmily Damstra; INHS Mollusk Collection; The Conservation Commission of the MDC
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

Freshwater Drum go by many names, like Sheepshead, Gaspergou, Thunder Pumper, and Grunter, and they can even say their own name by uttering a grunting sound through a set of specialized muscles. They are an understudied, and underappreciated species, but critical to the conservation of freshwater mussels. Mussels, which are among the most imperiled animals in North America, need fish to complete their life cycle, and several mussel species, including those in the genera Leptodea and Potamilus, use Freshwater Drum as their only obligate host fish. The distributions of some Leptodea and Potamilus species are restricted because lowhead dams prohibit upstream movement of drum. Without drum, these species cannot reproduce or disperse, resulting in a loss of ecosystem services once the mussels are lost. Therefore, whatever happens to the Freshwater Drum will have cascading affects in aquatic ecosystems and that is worth grunting about.

Website or Journal Article for More Informationhttps://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0006320795000348
Your NameINHS_Mollusk_Collection