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 TitleTrash fish no longer
Common Name of FishFallfish
Scientific Name of FishSemotilus corporalis
Image of FishImage of Fish
Image Caption and CreditA male fallfish in spawning colors, Jud Kratzer
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

The fallfish is the largest minnow species native to eastern North America, where it is considered a “trash fish” by many anglers. Why is the fallfish so maligned? Is it because they are ugly? While they lack the colorful spots and patterns of trout, a spawning male fallfish sports a lovely combination of purples and reds splashed across a scaly, copper canvas. Is it because they are poor sport? While they are weaker than smallmouth bass, a big fallfish, which could be up to 20 inches long, puts up a respectable fight. Is it because they taste bad? Fallfish are very bony, but their meat is quite mild. Their ground fillets make excellent fish cakes. Fallfish are also an important part of the ecosystem. Fallfish spawn on gravel piles that they build themselves by moving small stones with their mouths. These piles, which can be six feet across and two feet tall, may also be used by other minnow species for spawning. Here’s to fallfish, trash fish no more.

Website or Journal Article for More Informationhttps://www.onthewater.com/life-gives-fallfish-make-fish-cakes
Your NameJud Kratzer