Some Canadians are experiencing a fishy damper on their summer swimming plans as around a thousand dead fish on the shores of the Lièvre and Ottawa rivers have mysteriously washed up. With fish littering the shores, many residents have put a pause on entering the water in fear of contamination. At the moment, officials are unsure of what is causing these mysterious deaths but are still investigating.
A spokesperson with Quebec's Ministry of Forestry told CBC on Tuesday that there is an estimated 1,000 dead fish that have currently washed onshore within the past few days.
Investigators were sent to the shores on Monday to figure out the cause of this spike in deaths and are still attempting to determine exactly what is causing this.
Although there has been no announcement or discovery that the water is unsafe, residents are still choosing to stay out of the waters. Residents told CBC that they believe there is something that may be contaminating the water that is unsafe for humans as well. One resident even stated, "I'm not a scientist, but to me, it's not normal."
However, water contamination is only one of the worries of residents. According to Monique D'Amour, the smell that is coming from the abundance of fish is becoming unbearable.
D'Amour told CBC that she can hardly stand the smell that is currently brewing outside of her home.
While there is no clear answer to what is causing thousands of dead fish to wash ashore, this isn't the first time that this has happened this summer.
Earlier this month, dead fish were found floating in the Ottawa River near Cumberland. While it was not nearly the high amount of fish that are currently washing ashore now, residents were still able to spot hundreds of fish along the shorelines.
After conducting tests on some of the fish that were found in the Ottawa River, the wildlife health center in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec was able to discover that the fish carried no infectious diseases.
This led researches to believe that the fish may have been exposed to a toxic agent that was dumped into the water.
It is still unclear if these two cases are related but until residents no more about the mysterious dead fish, it's safe to say they will be staying away from the river.