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Low rivers and lack of rain raise summer drought fears

Water levels spur concerns about wildlife, fisheries, growing season

At a time when rivers and streams throughout the region usually crest and the soil is often saturated like a wet sponge, much of the state is bone-dry and many rivers are at record lows.

The water levels - caused by one of the driest and warmest winters on record in Massachusetts - have raised fears among state officials and environmental advocates about pervasive drought this summer and widespread failures of fish to spawn in their freshwater breeding grounds. Increased algae blooms and swimming bans are also possible.

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