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The City of Chesapeake has plans to make a public lake a lot less stinky

Neighbors in Chesapeake said that the smell of dead fish wasn't the only problem.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Neighbors in Chesapeake said that they found dozens of dead fish floating on the surface of the water in Lakeside Park. 

Francis Lawley said the stench was foul and widespread.

“Worse than being in a dump. If anyone had stood near a dump, with all the trash and everything there, it was like so corroded, mildew smell,” said Lawley.

Lawley said that buzzards were all over the lake eating the fish. Public Works Spokesman Jason Brown said that the fish came with the floods.

“Because of significant tidal flooding in the region over the weekend, that actually caused the Elizabeth River to kind of flood over Bainbridge Blvd. The wildlife that comes out of that salt water, those fish and those crabs, they get trapped in that freshwater lake, and they’re not able to survive it,” said Brown.

Dead fish aren’t the only repugnant odor, according to Lawley, people left the park all summer because of the stench.

“It really has been a hassle. People don’t stay at the park long because they complain about the smell,” said Lawley. 

Spokesman Brown said that the public works team had worked all summer to fight the stench coming off of algae bloom in the lake.

“What happens with a dry summer is you see more fertilizer, you see more animal and yard waste and that builds up. When you do get the rain, it washes that into the lake, which can result in an algae bloom.” Said Brown. 

Brown said that the city now has plans in the works to fix the problem long-term.

“Making sure that we have proper equipment in Lakeside Park to keep that water turning over is important, and we’re looking at ways to install aerators in the lake to help get that water moving in addition to herbicide treatments,” said Brown.