The US Fish and Wildlife Service yesterday proposed that the Oregon chub, a small minnow native to Oregon's Willamette Valley, be removed from the endangered species list created by the 1973 US Endangered Species Act. If the chub is removed, it will be the first fish to be delisted because of its population recovery since the list was created.

The Oregon chub was placed on the endangered species in 1993 after the loss of floodplain habitats and predation by non-native fish. At the time, fewer than eight populations of Oregon chub existed, with fewer than 1,000 fish. A recovery plan to boost chub numbers was finalized in 1998, and thanks to the success of methods such as habitat restoration, education, and careful monitoring, the species was reclassified as "threatened" in 2010. Oregon chub numbers now exceed 150,000, in 80 different habitats around the Willamette area.

Oregon chub numbers now exceed 150,000, across 80 different sites

If the Oregon chub is removed from the US endangered species list, it will join 26 animals, including the Steller sea lion and Gray wolf, that have had their populations re-grow following their classification as endangered. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is currently considering whether to remove the North Pacific humpback whale from the list of more than 2,000 plants and animal species currently considered endangered in the US and abroad.