Zombie Fish: Discover the Three-Eyed Walleye Fish Called “Third Eye Louie” From Lake Nipissing


Why does this fish has three eyes?

Many theories have surfaced in the months since a three-eyed walleye fish affectionately dubbed “Third Eye Louie” was pulled out of Lake Nipissing. Some claimed the freak fish spawned from a nuclear spill or was the product of an old uranium mine. Others pointed to the cyanobacterial blooms in the lake and the sewage pollution from wastewater plants dotting its shores as the cause of the periscopic third eye. And other believe it is genetic mutation. I do agree!

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This fish with three eyes called “Third Eye Louie” was caught in Lake Nipissing, Great Lake Basin

But what did this discovery actually change?

Something Third Eye Louie has helped do is drive attention to the larger issues at play in both Lake Nipissing and the Great Lakes Basin of which it is a part. The Great Lakes Basin holds a fifth of the world’s surface fresh water and is home to more than 4,000 species, including 100 rare plants and animals, many of which are on the brink of extinction. It stretches 244,000 square kilometers, holds 5,000 tributaries and 30,000 islands. In short, the basin is the largest freshwater ecosystem on earth. And it’s under attack.

Pollution of the the largest freshwater ecosystem on earth

Each year, billions of litres of raw sewage are dumped into its waters by way of combined sewer overflows from antiquated wastewater systems and bypasses at municipal treatment plants. The latter process is a deliberate discharge that occurs during heavy rainstorms, spring snowmelt and power failures.

Sewage pollution of the type infecting the Great Lakes Basin is a noxious cocktail of toxic chemicals, human waste, disease-causing pathogens, oils and heavy metals like mercury, cadmium and zinc. The effect this foul mix can have on humans, aquatic animals and the environment is concerning.

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This is “Third Eye Louie”, the Three-Eyed Walleye Fish From Lake Nipissing in Canada

Feminization of fish

The major effect that you’re seeing in aquatic life is this whole issue of feminization, where the male organs are not developing and you see more either female-like organisms or organisms where testes and ovaries are not differentiated. When that happens, those fish are not viable and they’re not going to be able to reproduce.


Moreover, over the last few years, cyanobacteria, more commonly known as blue-green algae, has been found blooming in various parts of the lake. According to Health Canada, humans exposed to cyanobacterial toxins can develop long-term or chronic illnesses. Some neurodegenerative diseases, like ALS, have been linked to blue-green algae exposure. More common symptoms include headache, nausea and vomiting. Aquatic and terrestrial animals exposed to the toxins are likely to become severely ill or die.


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