Today’s Solutions: October 24, 2021

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service announced that the Oregon minnow, also known as the Oregon chub, would be be removed from the Endangered Species List. The 2–inch long Oregon chub is poised to be the first fish ever recovered from the Endangered Species List.
The Oregon chub was declared endangered in 1993 when only 8 populations were known to exist. Thanks to the efforts of Paul Scheerer, head of the Oregon Department of fish and wildlife’s native fishes project, and the rest of Oregon’s department of fish and wildlife, the chub population has grown from fewer than 1,000 minnows to over 150,000 in about 80 different locations. Scheerer explains “recovery efforts like restoring water flows, floodplain reconstruction and stocking in private ponds” have helped grow the chub populations.
The Oregon chub flourishes in shallow waters like ponds and marshes. In the last 100 years the chub populations began to decrease sharply with the construction of dams and various aquatic projects. Other factors like oil spills, pesticide runoff, and the introduction of non-native fish to the area, like the large and smallmouth bass, all played rolls in the chubs’ decline.
Though the chub is small in size, the conservation of a baitfish like the Oregon chub is important because it’s an example of how natural conservation policy is supposed to function– laws set in place are properly executed by partners to save endangered species, regardless of size. The chubs’ decline represents how human intervention can impact nature, but by rebuilding the natural swampy landscape the chub was able to populate its Willamette River home once again. 
Read more about the Oregon chub and its history.
Photo: Flickr/ usfwspacific
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