It's only about 3 inches long, but the Oregon chub is about to achieve a first among fish: It's coming off the endangered species list, reports Popular Science. The Fish and Wildlife Service announced the move yesterday, though it won't become official until after a 60-day period for public comment. That's largely a formality, however. The minnow went on the list about 20 years ago, when only about 1,000 existed in eight locations in Oregon. Today, the population is at 180,000 in 80 locations throughout the state.
"We're not saying it won't need management," says a Fish and Wildlife official. "But they can leave the hospital and get out to be an outpatient." The fact that the chub is so small contributed to the success story, reports the AP. Wildlife officials could find small places throughout the Willamette Valley to re-introduce it, unlike the larger-scale methods needed to protect, say, salmon. When the fish comes off the list, it will join 26 others animals that have done so, including the gray wolf, notes the Verge. (Read more Endangered Species Act stories.)