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 TitleA saltmarsh specialist, the Spotfish Killifish cares about sea level rise.
Common Name of FishSpotfin Killifish
Scientific Name of FishFundulus luciae
Image of FishImage of Fish
Image Caption and CreditSpotfin Killifish from Mason's Island, CT. Photo by Megan Upp
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

The Spotfin Killifish is threatened by sea level rise living in the coastal marshes from Massachusetts to Georgia. This fish is already experiencing the effects of climate change as coastal marshes experience greater tidal fluctuations and more frequent storm surges. It is emblematic of the perils facing fish biodiversity around the globe. As a member of the Fundulidae family, this fish can withstand the fluctuating conditions associated with the salt marsh surface and has been found squirming from pool to pool between Spartina reeds in as little as 1 cm of water. Small but mighty with an average length of 5 cm, the Spotfin Killlifish has endured three centuries of human alteration to their preferred habitat including anthropogenic mosquito ditching, tidal restrictions, and coastal development. However, only time will tell if it can adapt to the rapidly accumulating effects of climate change.

Website or Journal Article for More InformationByrne, D.M. Estuaries (1978) Life history of the spotfin Killifish, fundulus luciae, in Fox Creek Marsh, Virginia. 1: 211. https://doi.org/10.2307/1351523
Your NameJason Vokoun