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Oregon fish first ever off endangered list

GRANTS PASS (AP) — A tiny minnow that lives only in Oregon backwaters is the first fish ever taken off U.S. Endangered Species Act protection because it is no longer threatened with extinction.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was to announce Tuesday that the Oregon chub was recovered, 21 years after it went on the endangered species list. The agency will monitor the fish for nine years to make sure populations continue to grow.

“We’re not saying it won’t need management,” said Paul Henson, Oregon director of Fish and Wildlife.

“But they can leave the hospital and get out to be an outpatient.”

The fish had practically disappeared from Oregon’s Willamette Valley as the swampy backwaters and beaver ponds it depends on were drained to control flooding and create farms and cities over the past century and a half. Those that survived the habitat loss became easy prey for bass introduced from the East.

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