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Lewis & Clark as Naturalists
The Journals Lewis and Clark as Naturalists

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Capt. Lewis, February 24, 1806--The Chief and his party had brought for sail a Sea Otter skin some hats, stergeon and a species of small fish which now begin to run, and are taken in great quantities in the Columbia R. about 40 miles above us by means if skimming or scooping nets. on the this page I have drawn the likeness of them as large as life; it[is] as perfect as I can make it with my pen and will serve to give a general idea of the fish. the rays of the fins are boney but not sharp tho’ somewhat pointed. the small fin on the back next to the tail has no rays of bone being a thin membranous pellicle. the fins next to the gills have eleven rays each. those of the abdomen have eight each, those of the pinna ani are 20 and 2 half formed in front. that of the back has eleven rays. all the fins are of a white colour. the back is of a bluish duskey colour and that of the lower part of the sides and belley is of a silvery white. no spots on any part. the first bone of the gills next behi[n]d the eye is of a bluis[h] cast, and the second of a light goald colour nearly white. the under jaw exceeds the uper; and the mouth opens to a great extent, folding like that of the herring. it has no teeth. the abdomen is obtuse and smooth, in this differing from the herring, shad, anchovey &c. of the Malacopterygious Order and Class Clupea, to which however I think it more nearly allyed than to any other altho’ it has not their accute and serrate abdomen and the under jaw exceeding the upper. the scales of this little fish are so small and thin that without minute inspection you would suppose they had none. they are filled with roes of a pure white colour and have scarcely any perceptable alimentary duct. I find them best when cooked in Indian stile, which is by roasting a number of them together on a wooden spit without any previous preperation whatever. they are so fat that they require no additional sauce, and I think them superior to any fish I ever tasted, eve more delicate and lussious than the white fish of the lakes which have heretofore formed my standart of excellence among the fishes. I have heard the fresh anchovey much extolled but I hope I shall be pardoned for believing this quite as good. the bones are so soft and fine that they form no obstruction in eating this fish.

Capt. Clark, February 25, 1806--I purchased of the Clatsops this morning about half a bushel of small fish which they had cought about 40 miles up the Columbia in their scooping nets. as this is an uncommon fish to me and one which no one of the party has ever seen. on the next page I have drawn the likeness of them as large as life; it’s as perfect as I can make it with my pen and will serve to give a general idea of the fish. the rays of the fins are boney but not sharp tho’ somewhat pointed. the small fin on the back next to the tail has no rays of bone being a thin membranous pellicle. those of the abdomen have Eight each, those of the pinna ani are 20 and 2 half formed in front. that of the back has eleven rays. all the fins are of a white colour. the back is of a bluish duskey colour and that of the lower part of the sides and belly is of a silvery white. no spots on any part. the first of the gills next behind the eye is of a bluish cast, and the second of a light gold colour nearly white. the under jaw exceeds the upper; and the mouth opens to a great extent, folding like that of the Herring. it has no teeth. the abdomen is obtuse and smooth, in this differing from the herring, shad, anchovey &c of the Malacapterygious order and class clupea, to which however I think it more nearly allyed than to any other altho’ it has not their accute and serrate abdomen and the under jaw exceeding the upper. the scales of this little fish are so small and thin that without manute inspection you would suppose they had none. they are filled with roes of a pure white colour and have scercely any perceptable alimentary duct. I found them best when cooked in Indian stile, which is by rosting a number of them together on a wooden spit without any previous preparation whatever. they are so fat that they require no aditional sauce, and I think them superior to any fish I ever tasted, eve more delicate and lussious than the white fish of the Lakes which have heretofore formed my standard of excellence among the fishes. I have herd the fresh anchovey much extoll’d but I hope I shall be pardoned for believing this quite as good. the bones are so soft and fine that they form no obstruction in eating this fish.

Capt. Lewis, March 4, 1806--the Anchovey is so delicate that they soon become tainted unless pickled or smoked. the natives run a small stick through their gills and hang them in the smoke of their lodges or kindle a small fire under them for the purpose of drying them. They need no previous preparation of guting &c and will cure in 24 hours. the natives do not appear to be very scrupelous about eating them when there are a little feated [fetid].

Capt. Clark, March 4, 1806--the Anchovey is so delicate that they soon become tainted unless pickled or smoked. the natives run a small stick through their gills and hang them in the smoke of their Lodges, or Kindle small fires under them for the purpose of drying them. they need no previous preperation of gutting &c. and will cure in 24 hours. the nativs do not appear to be very scrupelous about eating them a little feated [fetid].

Capt. Lewis, March 29, 1806--they had large quantities of dryed Anchovies strung on small sticks by the gills and others which had been first dryed in this manner were now arranged in large sheets with strings of bark and hung suspended by poles in the roofs of their houses;

 
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