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April 18, 2014

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Minnow to be 1st fish taken off endangered list

Updated Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 | 9:25 a.m.

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — A tiny minnow that lives only in Oregon is set to become 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 is announcing Tuesday that the Oregon chub has recovered, 21 years after it went on the endangered species list. The service's proposal goes through a 60-day public comment period before becoming final.

The fish had practically disappeared from Oregon's Willamette Valley as the swampy backwaters it inhabits were drained to create farms and cities over the past century and a-half.

State biologist Brian Bangs says unlike Pacific salmon, the Oregon chub was relatively easy to save because it doesn't get in the way of huge economic forces, such as logging and hydroelectric power.