Endemic to the Willamette River Valley of western Oregon, the Oregon chub was once a common fish in its native rivers and streams. Heavy development along the Willamette River radically changed this fragile fish's habitat, however, and by the 1990s, when the species was officially listed as endangered, numbers had declined to fewer than 1,000. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service put a recovery plan in place in 1998, and just 16 years later a proposal has been made to remove the chub from the list of endangered and threatened species. An estimated 160,000 individuals are believed to be alive today.