150 Fishes to Celebrate 150 Years

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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 rainbow of color from jewel-like northern lakes
Common Name of FishPumpkinseed
Scientific Name of FishLepomis gibbosus
Image of FishImage of Fish
Image Caption and CreditImage courtesy of Maynard Reece, from Iowa Fish and Fishing, copyright Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

The Pumpkinseed is one of the most colorful sunfish. It lives in clear, quiet sluggish water with large stands of rooted aquatic plants. It is often similar in size and behavior with bluegills, and they are regularly caught together. However, while bluegills can thrive in most lakes and ponds, pumpkinseeds prefer clear lakes with substantial vegetation. They are a bold and beautiful fish that regularly attacks a worm you suspend on a bobber on the edge of a littoral weedbed. They are relatively easy and fun to catch, and are so aesthetically pleasing with their bright coloration. They are my favorite fish.

Website or Journal Article for More Informationhttps://www.iowadnr.gov/idnr/Fishing/Iowa-Fish-Species/Fish-Details/SpeciesCode/PUD
Your NameJeff Kopaska