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Corvallis Research Lab
Oregon Chub

Oregon Chub

Oregon chub Oregonichthys crameri are endemic to the Willamette Valley of western Oregon. This species was formerly distributed throughout the Willamette Valley in off-channel habitats such as beaver ponds, oxbows, stable backwater sloughs, and flooded marshes. These habitats usually have little or no water flow, silty and organic substrate, and considerable aquatic vegetation and cover for hiding and spawning. In the last 100 years, these habitats have disappeared because of changes in seasonal flows resulting from the construction of dams throughout the basin, channelization, revetments, diking, drainage of wetlands, and agricultural practices. This loss of habitat combined with the introduction of non-native species to the Willamette Valley such as largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, bluegill, and western mosquitofish has resulted in a sharp decline in Oregon chub abundance. The reduction of suitable habitat and the restricted distribution of the Oregon chub resulted in a determination of "endangered" status under the federal endangered species act in 1993.


The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife conducted surveys throughout the Willamette River Valley in 1991-Present. The surveys provided information on the distribution and abundance of Oregon chub, life history characters, the distribution of native and non-native species, the characteristics of historic Oregon chub habitats, the characteristics of potential reintroduction sites, and the status of Oregon chub reintroductions.

Historically, Oregon chub were found throughout the Willamette River drainage from Oregon City to Oakridge. The historical records note collections from the Clackamas River, Molalla River, Mill Creek, Luckiamute River, North Santiam River, South Santiam River, Calapooia River, Long Tom River, Muddy Creek, McKenzie River, Coast Fork Willamette River, Middle Fork Willamette River drainages, and the mainstem Willamette River. Current distribution includes populations in the Santiam River, Mary's River, Long Tom River, Muddy Creek, Coast Fork Willamette River, and the Middle Fork Willamette River drainages. Most populations are located in the Middle Fork Willamette River drainage. Oregon chub have been reintroduced into ten new habitats. Currently, there are 33 known locations that contain Oregon chub, including the introduced populations.


The Oregon Chub Recovery Plan sets recovery goals for downlisting the species to “threatened” and for delisting the species. The criteria for downlisting the species to “threatened” is to establish and manage 10 populations of at least 500 adult fish. All populations must exhibit a stable or increasing trend for 5 years and at least three populations must be located in each of the three recovery areas: Middle Fork Willamette River, Santiam River, and Mid-Willamette River tributaries. Currently there are 15 populations totaling 500 or more individuals and 12 of these have exhibited a stable or increasing trend for at least 5 years. Eight populations are located in Middle Fork Willamette River, 2 in Santiam River, and 2 in the Mid-Willamette Drainage.

Map Source: USDA, Willamette National Forest, 1997. "A Rare Species... Oregon Chub".

 

 

Recent Research Summaries and Publications:

Scheerer, P. D., S. E. Jacobs, and M. Terwilliger.  2005. Monitoring of Hospital Pond (2005): Willamette Basin Oregon Chub Investigations, Monitoring, and Management, Fish Research Project W66QKZ13304328, Annual Progress Report, Corvallis.  21 p.

Scheerer, P. D., and M. Terwilliger. 2005. Monitoring of Hospital Pond (2004): Willamette basin Oregon chub investigations, monitoring, and management, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Fish Research Project W66QKZ13304328, Annual Progress Report, Corvallis. 20 p.

Scheerer, P. D., P.S. Kavanagh, S. Davis, and S. E. Jacobs.  2005.  2005 Oregon chub investigations. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Fish Research Project EF-04  VII-1, Annual Progress Report, Salem.

Scheerer, P. D., M, Scheu, B. L. Bangs, and S. E. Jacobs.  2005.  Sand Roller Investigations in the Willamette River Drainage.  Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Fish Research Project #134204M135, Annual Progress Report, Salem.

Scheerer, P. D. 2004. ODOT Oregon chub surveys. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Fish Research Project 20675, Annual Progress Report, Corvallis. 5+ p.

Scheerer, P. D. 2004. Population and habitat assessments for Oregon chub on the William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge (2004). Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Fish Research Project 1448-13420-03-M194, Annual Progress Report, Corvallis. 27 p.

Scheerer, P. D. 2004. Management Plan for Oregon Department of Transportation Properties that Support Populations of the Endangered Oregon Chub. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Fish Research Contract #1448-13420-03-M145, Annual Progress Report, Corvallis.

Scheerer, P. D., P. S. Kavanagh, and S. E. Jacobs. 2004. 2004 Oregon chub investigations. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Fish Research Project EF-04, Annual Progress Report, Salem. 23+ p.

Scheerer, P.D. 2003. Oregon Chub Investigations 2003 Progress Report. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Conservation and Recovery, Corvallis, OR.

Scheerer, P. D., and P. J. McDonald. 2003. Age and growth and timing of spawning of an endangered minnow, the Oregon chub (Oregonichthys crameri), in the Willamette Basin, Oregon. Northwestern Naturalist 84:68-79.

Scheerer, P. D. 2002. Implications of Floodplain Isolation and Connectivity on the Conservation of an Endangered Minnow, Oregon Chub, in the Willamette River, Oregon. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 131:1070-1080.

Scheerer, P.D. 1999. Oregon Chub Research in the Willamette Valley 1991-99. Fish Research Project Annual Progress Report EF-91 VII-1. Portland, Oregon.

U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1998. Oregon chub (Oregonichthys crameri) Recovery plan. Portland, OR: USDI Fish and Wildlife Service. 69+ p

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