Home Smithsonian: National Museum of Natural History Home
Lewis & Clark as Naturalists
The Journals Lewis and Clark as Naturalists

steelhead trout

Capt. Clark, October 26, 1805-- ..one man giged a Salmon Trout which we had fried in a little Bears oil which a Chief gave us yesterday and I think the finest fish I ever tasted..

Capt. Clark, March 13, 1806-- The Salmon Trout are seldom more than two feet in length, they are narrow in purportion to their length, at least much more so than the salmon & red charr.  their jaws are nearly of the same length, and are furnished with a single series of subulate streight teeth, not so long or so large as those of the salmon,  the mouth is wide, and the tongue is also furnished with some teeth.  the fins are placed much like those of the salmon.  at the Great Falls are met with this fish of a silvery white colour on the belly and sides, and a blueish light brown on the back and head.  in this neighbourhood we have met with another species which does not differ from the other in any particular except in point of colour.  this last is of a dark colour on the back, and its sides and belley are yellow with transverse stripes of dark brown.  sometimes a little red is intermixed with these colour on the belly and sides towards the head.  the flesh & roe is like those described of the salmon.  the white species which we found bellow the falls were in excellent order where the salmon were entirely out of season and not fit for use.  The species which we found here early in november on our arrival in this quarter had declined considerably, reather more so than the red charr with which we found them associated in the little riverlets and creeks.  I think it may be safely asserted that the Red charr and both species of the salmon trout remain in season longer in the fall of the year than the common salmon ; but I have my doubt whether [any] of the species of the salmon trout ever pass the Great falls of the Columbia.  The Indians tell us that the salmon begin to run early in the next month ; it will be unfortunate for us if they do not, for they must form our principal dependence for food in assending the Columbia above the Falls and it's S. E. branch  Lewis's river to the Mountains.

Capt. Lewis, March 14, 1806-- The Salmon Trout are seldom more than two feet in length  they are narrow in proportion to their length, at least much more so than the Salmon or red charr.  the jaws are nearly of the same length, and are furnished with a single series of small subulate streight teeth, not so long or as large as those of the Salmon.  the mouth is wide, and the tongue is also furnished with some teeth.  the fins are placed much like those of the salmon.  at the great falls, are met with this fish of a silvery white colour on the belley and sides, and a bluish light brown on the back and head.  in this neighbourhood we have met with another speceis which dose not differ from the other in any particular except in point of colour.  this last is of a dark colour on the back, and it's sides and belley are yellow with transverse stripes of dark brown.  sometimes a little red is intermixed with these colours on the belley and sides towards the head.  the eye, flesh and roes are like those discribed of the Salmon.  the white speceis which we found bellow the falls was in excellent order where the salmon were entirely out of season and not fit for uce.  The speceis which we found here on our arrival early in November had declined considerably, reather more so inded than the red Charr with which we found them ascociated in the little rivulets and creeks.  I think it may be safely asserted that the red Charr and both speceis of the salmon trout remain in season longer in the fall of the year than the common Salmon ; but I have my doubts whether either of them ever pass the great falls of the Columbia.  The Indians tell us that the Salmon begin to run early in the next month ; it will be unfortunate for us if they do not, for they must form our principal dependence for food in ascending the Columbia, above the Falls and it's S. E. branch to the Mountains.

Capt. Lewis, May 10, 1806-- .. the Cheif spoke to his people and they produced us about 2 bushels of quawmas roots dryed, four cakes of the bread of cows and a dryed salmon trout.

 
Smithsonian Institution
Copyright Notice
Privacy Notice