Thousands of fish have died in the Nigeen Lake at Hazratbal in Srinagar, owing to an abrupt change in weather conditions over the past 48 hours, officials said on Monday.

Dead fish covered the lake, where high-end tourists stay in houseboats.

Residents around the lake said they had never seen such a phenomenon before. “I have been living here for 40 years now and this is for the first time I have seen this happen,” Bashir Ahmad, a houseboat owner, said.

A spokesman of the Fisheries Department said the death of fish had taken place due to depletion of oxygen, high oxidation of nutrients and fluctuation of temperature. He said the department would take precautionary measures for protection of fish.