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 TitleRockfish Rock!
Common Name of FishRockfish
Scientific Name of FishSebastes spp.
Image of FishImage of Fish
Image Caption and CreditChina rockfish in a kelp forest. Credit: Lt. John Crofts, NOAA.
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

The genus Sebastes includes >100 species of demersal fishes that are primarily found in the Northeast Pacific. Rockfish have several life history characteristics that make them interesting. They are among some of the longest lived fishes. In his book on The Rockfish of the Northeast Pacific, Milton Love states that some rockfish swimming around today were alive at the time when Abraham Lincoln was president. Another fascinating thing about rockfishes is that they are one of the few fishes that give birth to live young rather than laying eggs. Rockfishes are also unique in that many species have very particular habitat use patterns that are influenced by depth, rugosity, and the type of benthic substrate. Lastly, rockfish are a conservation success story. They were overfished during the last few decades of the 20th century. Due to the creation of marine protected areas and controls on catch, many rockfish species have now recovered and are returning to the plates of seafood lovers.

Website or Journal Article for More Informationhttps://www.amazon.com/Rockfishes-Northeast-Pacific-Milton-Love/dp/0520234383
Your NameRebecca Asch