Award of Excellence

The American Fisheries Society's highest award of scientific achievement

2022 Award of Excellence honoree Bob Hughes shows off his award medal in Spokane

The Society’s highest award for scientific achievement is presented to a living AFS member for original and/or outstanding contributions to fisheries and aquatic biology. The award consists of a bronze medal, a plaque, and honorarium. The award is presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society.

The Award of Excellence is administered by a special committee appointed by the AFS President.

Criteria for Selection

  1. A monumental work, or
  2. Original techniques or research methods, or
  3. New, fresh ideas, viewpoints, or data which contribute remarkable to conservation management or basic understanding of aquatic resources, or
  4. A new successfully executed fishery research or management program of national or international importance or
  5. Imaginative an successful programs in fish conservation, education at any level of teaching or graduate student guidance, or
  6. Important faunal or ecological discoveries or new taxonomic criteria, or
  7. Research especially beneficial to mankind, or
  8. Interdisciplinary research involving leadership in team efforts in the laboratory or field, or
  9. Multiple successful efforts in a variety of field such as biology, public understanding, technical and popular writing, laboratory and filed research, inspiration leadership, enunciation of principles.

Specification and Limitations

Award recipient must be living at the time of selection.

The award will not necessarily be made annually, but will be made only in such years as there is substantial or unanimous agreement among members of the Award of Excellence Committee than an award is justified.

Submit Your Nomination

Nominations should be submitted electronically using the form below. Materials should include a detailed letter of nomination to address award criteria, vitae of nominee, and additional supporting materials as needed. Please include in the nomination letter, the nominee’s title and full contact information (i.e. address, e-mail, phone, etc.) to complete the package.

The Awards Committee is dedicated to AFS goal of increasing diversity and inclusion within our Society. As part of this effort, we highly encourage nominations for individuals from historically underrepresented groups in the fisheries field.


2023 Award Nominations should be submitted online at

Nominations are due April 1, 2023.

Contact: TBD

Past Recipients of the Award of Excellence

1969 William E. Ricker
1970 Stanislas Snieszko
1971 F. E. J. Fry
1972 Ralph Hile
1973 Carl L. Hubbs
1974 Clarence Tarzwell
1975 Robert Rush Miller
1976 Alfred W. H. Needler
1977 Arthur D. Hasler
1978 Peter Doudoroff
1979 Kenneth Carlander
1980 Reeve M. Bailey
1981 Gunnar Svardson
1982 Douglas Chapman
1983 Peter A. Larkin
1984 J. L. McHugh
1985 Lauren Donaldson
1986 William B. Scott
1987 David Cushing
1988 Clark Hubbs
1989 John Cairns, Jr.
1990 John A. Gulland
1991 Kenneth Wolf
1992 Henry A. Regier
1993 Raymond Beverton
1994 Shelby D. Gerking
1995 William M. Lewis
1996 Thomas Northcote
1997 William C. Leggett
1998 Carl E. Bond
1999 Thomas F. Waters
2000 John J. Magnuson
2001 Saul B. Saila
2002 John L. Fryer
2003 James Kitchell
2004 Daniel Pauly
2005 Ray W. Hilborn
2006 Carl Walters
2007 Peter B. Moyle
2008 John M. Casselman
2009 Carl B. Schreck
2010 Roy Stein
2011 Fred W. Allendorf
2012 David L. G. Noakes
2013 Bonnie J. McCay
2014 Kenneth A. Rose
2015 Anthony Farrell
2016 Kurt Fausch
2017 Richard R. Beamish
2018 Kirk Winemiller
2019 Scott Hinch
2020 Villy Christensen
2021 William Taylor
2022 Robert Hughes