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 TitleBigmouth Buffalo: A North American Treasure
Common Name of FishBigmouth Buffalo
Scientific Name of FishIctiobus cyprinellus
Image of FishImage of Fish
Image Caption and CreditA 90 year-old Bigmouth Buffalo (Ictiobus cyprinellus) male. Photo credit: Alec Lackmann
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

The Bigmouth Buffalo is a freshwater fish native to North America. From Native Americans to inland commercial fishing, Bigmouth Buffalo have been a valued food-fish for centuries. In the past decade, Bigmouth Buffalo have become a prized sportfish as night bowfishing has quickly emerged as a multi-million dollar industry. All forms of harvest are virtually unregulated and unstudied, even though Bigmouth Buffalo were documented as declining in the 1970s, and are native counterparts to notorious invasives like Asian carp. In 2019, Bigmouth Buffalo became known as the oldest age-validated freshwater fish, with ages more than 85 years older than previously reported for this species. Several native Bigmouth Buffalo populations are like old-growth forests, with about 85% of individuals between 80-112 years old, suggesting long term recruitment failure since the 1930s. It is time Bigmouth Buffalo are recognized for their ecological value and incredible longevity.

Website or Journal Article for More InformationScientific article: https://www.nature.com/articles/s42003-019-0452-0; National Geographic: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2019/08/oldest-freshwater-fish-discovered-radiocarbon-dating/
Your NameAlec Lackmann