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 TitleSmall but Mighty!
Common Name of FishThree-spined stickleback
Scientific Name of FishGasterosteus aculeatus
Image of FishImage of Fish
Image Caption and CreditSara Hart
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

This fish species has a fascinating and variable life history and biology. They live all over the world in coastal waters above 30 degrees latitude, including North Africa, Eastern Asia, North America and Greenland. They have a wide and varying morphology. They can be either anadromous or not, with populations living in either brackish or freshwater, and even rarely in marine waters. In freshwater they will live anywhere from large river to small streams and lakes. Spawning behavior involved the male stickleback building a nest of vegetation and enticing the female with a courtship dance. The fertilized eggs are guarded by the male.
This species is commonly used as a laboratory animal to study evolutionary processes.

Website or Journal Article for More InformationPage, L.M. and B.M. Burr, 2011. A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 663p.
Your NameSara Hart