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 Northern Madtom, Michigan's endangered catfish species
Common Name of FishNorthern Madtom
Scientific Name of FishNoturus stigmosus
Image of FishImage of Fish
Image Caption and CreditA Northern Madtom. Photo by Brad Utrup
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

The Northern Madtom is among the rarest species of catfish, found in patchily distributed habitats throughout their range. Here in Michigan, Northern Madtoms are known only in the Detroit River, the Huron River, and the St. Clair River. While small, rarely exceeding 15 cm in total length, these little guys pack a punch with venomous spines. A poke from these spines provides a burning sensation similar to a bee sting and in some cases can result in significant swelling. But don't worry in Michigan Northern Madtoms are found in rocky cavities of our Great Lakes connecting channels and are rarely encountered by those not looking for them!

Your NameJan-Michael Hessenauer