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 TitleNot extinct anymore!
Common Name of FishSmoky Madtom
Scientific Name of FishNoturus baileyi
Image of FishImage of Fish
Image Caption and CreditSmoky Madtom in Citico Creek. J.R. Shute
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

This fish was described from specimens poisoned out of Abrams Creek in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1957 (described in 1969) and declared extinct with the description. Then Dr. David Etnier's students discovered it nearby Citico Creek. We (Conservation Fisheries, Inc., Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Forest Service, US Park Service) propagated nests from there and reintroduced the species to Abrams Creek beginning in 1986. By 2001 the species showed signs of successful recovery in Abrams, so we switched reintroduction efforts to nearby Tellico River. Now it is successfully restored to both streams and is a good candidate for Endangered Species Act downlisting from Endangered to Threatened. Sister species, the Yellowfin Madtom, Noturus flavipinnis (Threatened) and the Citico Darter, Etheostoma sitikuense share similar histories and outcomes. The yellowfin could even be DELISTED since it is now more widespread and better recovered.

Website or Journal Article for More InformationShute, J. & Rakes, Patrick & Shute, Peggy. (2009). Reintroduction of Four Imperiled Fishes in Abrams Creek, Tennessee. Southeastern Naturalist. 4. 93-110. 10.1656/1528-7092(2005)004[0093:ROFIFI]2.0.CO;2.
Your NamePatrick Rakes