Oregon Chub Could be Taken Off Endangered Species List

Feb 4, 2014

A small minnow native to Oregon's Willamette Valley could be removed from the Federal Endangered Species List. The Oregon chub is the first fish to be de-listed because its population has been restored. The announcement came Tuesday near Eugene.

The Oregon Chub was listed as endangered 20 years ago. At that time there were only about 1000 of the tiny fish in the Willamette Basin. Three years ago it was moved to threatened status. Now, biologists say there are more than 100 thousand Oregon chub.

Bangs: "Bouncing around in my hand. But that's a little Oregon chub."

Brian Bangs is a Wildlife Biologist with US Fish & Wildlife. He shows reporters the tiny minnow in a tributary of the McKenzie River near Eugene. Robyn Thorson is regional director for the U-S Fish & Wildlife Service.

The Oregon chub is a tiny minnow found only in the Willamette Basin.
Credit Rachael McDonald

Thorson: "In the history of the Endangered Species Act, which was enacted just over 40 years ago a fish has never been declared recovered after being listed due to it's natural recovery."

Other fish have been delisted because they went extinct.
Oregon chub are only found in the state's Willamette River system.