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Harmful overgrowths of algae—called algal blooms—are a problem in all 50 states. These blooms can hurt aquatic plants and animals by producing toxins, consuming oxygen, and limiting light penetration in the water.
Before 1850, an estimated 16 million salmon and steelhead returned to the Columbia River Basin annually to spawn. Over the past 25 years, the number of salmon and steelhead returning to the Columbia River Basin has averaged only 660,000 per year although annual population levels have varied widely.