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Lake Tahoe’s water level has dropped so low that water is no longer flowing into the Truckee River and salmon aren’t expected to spawn in a major tributary this year.

Some boat ramps and docks are hundreds of feet from the water line, and clumps of stringy algae have been washing up on beaches, said Geoffrey Schladow, director of the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center.

“It’s putting us on warning that things could get a lot worse,” he said.

The receding water level, which is driven by climate change and drought, comes as the latest insult to the treasured tourist destination nestled in the Sierra Nevada. Its waters have already been clouded by smoke and ash from multiple wildfires this summer.

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