150 Fish


150 Fish


150 Fish


150 Fish


150 Fish


150 Fish


150 Fish


150 Fish


150 Fish


150 Fish


150 Fish

150 Fishes to Celebrate 150 Years

Please Nominate Your Favorite Fish

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 are soliciting 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

To nominate a fish, see the form below.

In the first box, please type the common name of the fish species you wish to nominate. In the second box, type an eye-catching title (limit 80 characters including spaces). In the third box, please provide a brief (1000 characters including spaces or less) story justifying inclusion of your fish nominee. In the fourth box, provide one or two links (i.e., URLs) to more information on your fish nominee. If possible, upload an un-copyrighted photo of your fish nominee together with an image caption and credit. In the next boxes provide your first and last names. Finally, include your email in case we need to reach you. Nominations have been extended until December 31, 2019.

Selection Process

A 10-person committee comprised of celebration committee members and members at large will make the selections. Only completed nominations will be considered. Selections will be based on the compelling nature of the justification for inclusion, the quality of the story, appeal to the membership and the public, and significance of the fish to fisheries and natural resources conservation and management in North America. Multiple nominations of the same species could require combining justification stories. In this case, all nominators that contributed material used will be acknowledged. The decision of the committee is final.

The committee will be tasked with fact-checking and proofing the justification stories. Each committee member will be responsible editing the justification stories for 15 fishes from the list.

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.


150 Fish Nomination Form

  • Please write this in a style appropriate for the general public.
  • Drop files here or
    Only upload images if you own the copyright, you have permission of the copyright holder, or the image is in the public domain.



Catchy TitleAmerican Paddlefish - Best Fish Ever? ... Prove me wrong.
Common Name of FishAmerican Paddlefish, Spoonbill, Teaspoon (really small ones)
Scientific Name of FishPolyodon spathula
Image of FishImage of Fish
Image Caption and CreditAdam Cole and son Zaniel pose with a +100lb Paddlefish that Zaniel snagged from the Arkansas River in Oklahoma. Credit: Adam Cole.
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

If ever there was a fish worthy of recognition, the American Paddlefish is it.

The Spoonbill practically has super powers:
Find prey in complete darkness by sensing tiny electrical currents? - YES
Migrate 1000's of miles upstream to spawn? - YES
Detect & avoid metal objects? - YES
Coevolved with a cnidarian endoparasite that infects their eggs? (A freshwater jellyfish!) - YES
Skin has natural sunscreen derivatives to protect from UV rays? - YES
Ram filter-feeding mechanism that forms tiny vortices to selectively capture prey and remain clog-free? - YES
Same filter is a model for development of clog-free industrial filters like those used in beer brewing? - YES
Thick layer of epidermis loaded with white blood cells which give them super-healing capabilities? - YES
Roe valued as a high-priced delicacy on par with the rarest of caviar? - YES
Skeleton studied by the US Military as a model for lightweight vehicle & body armor? - YES
Huge? - YES

Best fish ever. Indisputable.

Website or Journal Article for More Informationhttps://fisheries.org/bookstore/all-titles/afs-symposia/54088c/
Your NameJason D. Schooley