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 TitlePlight of ancient fish encourages collaborative efforts
Common Name of FishPacific Lamprey
Scientific Name of FishEntosphenus tridentatus
Image of FishImage of Fish
Image Caption and CreditAdult Pacific Lamprey from Willamette Falls, Oregon
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

Pacific Lamprey is a descendant of a group of the most ancient group of fishes. It is cherished by many Native American tribes as a first food, medicine, and for cultural ceremony. This anadromous species provides marine-derived nutrients to freshwater. Pacific Lamprey is energy-dense, being 3 to 6 times higher in caloric content than salmonids. This species integrates detritic, particulate food and algae into animal tissue that can then be consumed by a multitude of bird, mammal, and fish predators. Pacific lamprey is one of the widest-distributed freshwater fishes, occurring in drainages around the North Pacific Ocean. This species does not home to natal streams and the relatively panmictic stock structure suggests that cross-boundary collaborations and conservation efforts will be essential to benefit them. The Pacific Lamprey Conservation Initiative (https://www.fws.gov/pacificlamprey/mainpage.cfm) and other local and state efforts have been created to help this species.

Website or Journal Article for More InformationClemens, B. J., and 21 co-authors. 2017a. Conservation challenges and research needs for Pacific Lamprey in the Columbia River Basin. Fisheries. 42: 268 – 280.
Your NameBenjamin Clemens