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 TitleWho says a sucker can't be beautiful?
Common Name of FishBlue sucker
Scientific Name of FishCycleptus elongatus
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

Blue suckers are native to the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers from Montana to Texas and from Ohio to Louisiana. Blue suckers are a beautiful fish with a elongated and elegant set of fins. Its body is blue or bluish black in color and has a small, slender head that tapers to a fleshy snout. Like other suckers, their mouth is surrounded by a distinct groove, and the lips are thick and directed downward.They handle strong currents well and thrive in the turbid waters of the lower Yellowstone, Missouri, and Rio Grande rivers. However, they need gravel or rock bottoms with constantly flowing water that is relatively silt-free for successful spawning. The Blue Sucker is extremely sensitive to pollution, and its presence indicates a healthy environment. Adult blue suckers grow to be 76 to 102 cm (29 to 42 inches) long and typically weigh 1.8 to 4.5 kg (4 to 10 lbs). Blue suckers exhibit sexual dimorphism, with females larger than males by an average of 7 cm (~3 inches) at comparable ages.

Website or Journal Article for More InformationU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Status Report on Blue Sucker (Cycleptus elongatus), a Candidate Endangered or Threatened Species. North Dakota State Office: Ecological Services. 1993.
Your NameLeanne Roulson