He was found face down in the shallows at the edge of the Water of Leith in Edinburgh at around 9.30am on Monday. Detectives were yesterday seen scouring the embankment below the popular cycle path which runs next to Stenhouse Industrial Estate.
The death of the man, who is believed to be in his 40s, is currently being treated as unexplained.
Witnesses said police dive teams waded through the waters and found a bicycle near where the body was lying. Police said it was too early to comment on whether the man drowned or died as a result of a fall.
A large section of the Water of Leith was sealed off for several hours while investigators probed the scene. Bryan Gardner, a salesman who had been working in the area, said he saw the man face down in the water close to the embankment.
It is not known how long the man's body had lain in the water next to the busy path which is on the national cycle route. Stevan Thorburn, branch manager of nearby Senate Electrical, said: "Initially there were quite a lot of ambulances - there must have been four or five - and it was being treated as a major incident."
A Police Scotland spokesman said: "We responded to a call at the Water of Leith, near to the Stenhouse Industrial Estate at around 9.30am on Monday, July 21, where the body of a man was recovered from the water.
"Inquiries are ongoing to determine the circumstances surrounding his death, which is currently being treated as unexplained."