This undated photo provided by Freshwaters Illustrated via the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows an Oregon chub, right, swimming with baby salmon in the McKenzie River in Oregon
Jeremy Monroe—AP
By Kevin McSpadden
February 18, 2015

Making history, the Oregon chub became the first fish ever removed from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Animals on Tuesday.

The minnow, unique to the state’s Willamette River Basin, was listed in 1993, when the population dipped below 1,000. Today the number has climbed to over 140,000 and the minnow can be found in more than 80 locations, according to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service press release.

“This effort succeeded because of an extraordinary partnership between federal and state agencies, landowners and other stakeholders who brought this species and ecosystem back from the brink of extinction in just over 20 years,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell.

While the Oregon chub is the first fish to be saved, 28 animals, including America’s iconic bald eagle, have also been rescued.

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