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Lake That Will Serve As A 2016 Olympic Rowing Venue Is Full Of Dead Fish

Concerns have already been raised over the water quality in the waterways being used for the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro.

Posted on April 14, 2015, at 2:17 p.m. ET

A Rio de Janeiro lake that is slated to hold rowing competitions for the 2016 Olympics has reportedly been inundated with thousands of dead fish.

Ricardo Moraes / Reuters

Workers are now trying to clear the fish, a type called waite shad, from the Rodrigo de Freitas lake, the Associated Press reported.

Neighbors complained of the stench.

"Every year there are these die-offs, sometimes bigger, sometimes smaller," one local resident told the AP. "It's one more Brazilian shame."

The fish die-off began several days ago. Brazilian officials blamed the die-off on rain and high sea levels, the AP reported.

Officials said these factors caused the water temperature in the lake to drop, which killed the fish. The species is sensitive to water temperature, the officials said in a statement to the AP.

Ricardo Moraes / Reuters

Mass fish deaths in the lake have previously been blamed on pollution, and concerns have been raised over the water quality in the waterways being used for the Olympic games.

The city's officials had promised to work to reduce the pollution before 2016.

However, last month Mayor Eduardo Paes said in an interview that the lake will probably still be mostly polluted during the games, CNN reported.

However, he said people should not be concerned.

"The Olympics are also in a time that has very little rain, then this amount of debris that comes from five municipalities in the metropolitan region, with poor sanitation, is also controllable...I do not see as a problem for the Olympics," he said according to CNN.

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