We’ve made grim jokes about finding them in Lake Ontario. We’ve seen the idea played out on The Simpsons. But this time, it’s for real.
Lake Nipissing has yielded a three-eyed fish.
While ice fishing with friends, Brandon Warmington was shocked when he pulled up a three-eyed, 23-inch pickerel from the waters of Lake Nipissing.
Warmington described the fish has having a finger-like antenna with a little eyeball on the end. He told CBC news it was “freaky”.
Some fishermen in the area suspect Callender’s urban growth is responsible for worsening water and sewer quality, along with blue-green algae problems reported in Callender Bay.
Though this particular deformity has not been seen in the lake before, fisherman and ice hut owner James Stewart says fish have been spotted with tumours, growths, and parasites in the past.
The Ministry of Natural Resources says it cannot verify the authenticity of the fish because it has not seen it live. MNR also reports never having seen a case like this in Lake Nipissing before, and that it believes this to be a “genetic anomaly” that can occur in any species.
According to CTV News, the fish was returned to the lake in compliance with ministry regulations regarding the length of fish caught. Warmington now wishes he had kept the fish for further inspection from the Ministry.
But this isn’t the first time an optically-enhanced fish like this has been found.
In November 2011, George Stromboulopoulous reported on a similar creature caught in Argentina.