RICHLAND, WA-

When it comes to toxic algae in the Columbia River, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Rick Dawson with the Benton-Franklin Health District says their most recent sample showed better results.

"We took six samples exactly a week ago and they came back with lower levels of toxins," said Dawson.

The health district is cautiously optimistic, though, because these blooms can be unpredictable.

The shoreline is closed from the boat launch at Howard Amon park south to the eddy south of the Hampton Inn. Everywhere else you may see a warning sign.

To open the shoreline fully, they need two back-to-back tests that show levels under those we should be concerned about. That's why the health district is testing the water weekly.

"Hopefully later this week we will know those results and we may release many of the restrictions provided those positive trends we saw a week ago," said Dawson.

A lot of different things may have made the situation better.

"Could be certainly cooler weather, could be the movement of the water. Could be the algae bloom--cyanobacteria bloom--could certainly be over. And the toxin degrading over time," said Dawson.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife says they don't really know what the impact is on fish and wildlife, at this point. They have not had any reports of fish and wildlife dying off since the blooms were first discovered -- but that doesn't mean that it doesn't happen.

All they ask is for anglers to use caution when fishing in a body of water that has blue-green algae in it.

"Toxins are most likely to accumulate in the [fish] organs. Over time they could get into tissues this appears to be a short-lived, first-time event in the river so if people get fish out of the Columbia river make sure you are removing the internal organs before thinking about eating them," said Dawson.

BFHD says they took their latest samples from the Columbia River today.

Keep an eye out for anything in the water that just doesn't look right. Green or off-colored water or a strange odor. If you do notice something that could be an algae bloom, report it to BFHD.