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 TitleThe Gentle Giant
Common Name of FishColorado Pikeminnow
Scientific Name of FishPtychocheilus lucius
Image of FishImage of Fish
Image Caption and CreditAdult Colorado Pikeminnow from Desolation Canyon on the Green River, UT. Photo credit: P. Lauck/USFWS
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

You don't need to travel far to see a river monster. Historically coming in at 6 feet and 80 pounds, the Colorado Pikeminnow is the largest minnow in North America and was once the Colorado River's top predator. This ancient fish can live over 40 years and is known to travel over 200 miles both to and from spawning areas. Despite its intimidating size, its only teeth are on a bony, circular structure deep within its throat. This federally endangered species was once abundant in the main stem of the Colorado River and most of its major tributaries in the western USA. Today, the partners of the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program are working to recover Colorado Pikeminnow within the upper Colorado River basin, while the partners of the San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation Program are working to restore this species in the San Juan River basin. If you’re lucky enough to reel in one of these colossal fish by chance, be sure to quickly release this gentle giant!

Website or Journal Article for More Informationhttp://www.coloradoriverrecovery.org/
Your NameCheyenne Owens