JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — A fish species found in some northeast Alabama waters and throughout the Tennessee River has been removed from the endangered species list.

According to a news release from the U.S. Department of the Interior, the snail darter, a small freshwater fish, was removed from the list of endangered animals after the species recovered from threats aimed at eliminating the population.

The snail darter is the fifth fish species in the Eastern United States to be removed from the list.

(Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources)

“The recovery of the snail darter is a remarkable conservation milestone that tells a story about how controversy and polarization can evolve into cooperation and a big conservation success,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. “By protecting even the smallest creatures, we show who we are as a country; that we care about our environment and recognize the interconnectedness of our lands, wildlife, and people.”

According to the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR), the snail darter was initially thought to only be found in the Tennessee River. They have since been spotted in parts of the Paint Rock River in Jackson County, Alabama.

The small fish is characterized by eyes toward the top of its head, a speckled brown back, a blunt snout, and rounded pectoral and pelvic fins. They are typically 2.2 to 3 inches long.

Learn more about the snail darter and other Alabama fish species at outdooralabama.com.