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

blue-backed salmon

Capt. Clark, November 11, 1805 [first draft]--. . at 12 oClock at a time the wind was verry high and waves trimendeous, five Indians came down in a canoe loaded with fish of salmon spes. called Red Charr, we purchased of those Indians 13 of these fish, for which we gave fishing hooks & some trifling things.  We had seen those Indians at a village behind some marshey Islands a few days ago,   they are on their way to trade those fish with white people which they make signs live below round a point.

Capt. Clark, November 11, 1805-- .. we purchased of the Indians 13 red charr which we found to be an excellent fish.

Capt. Lewis, March 13, 1806-- The common Salmon and red Charr are the inhabitants of both the seas and rivers. . . The red Charr are reather broader in proportion to their length than the common salmon, the skales are also imbricated but reather large.  the nostrum [rostrum] exceeds the lower jaw more and the teeth are neither as large nor so numerous as those of the salmon.  some of them are almost entirely red on the belley and sides ; others are much more white than the salmon and none of them are variagated with the dark spots which make the body of the other.  their flesh roes and every other particular with rispect to their form is that of the Salmon. this fish we did not see untill we decended below the gr[e]at falls of the Columbia, but whether they are exclusively confined to this portion of the river or not at all seasons I am unable to determine.

Capt. Clark, March 13, 1806-- The red Charr are reather broader in proportion to their length than the common salmon, the skales are also imbricated but reather large.  the nostrum exceeds the lower jaw more and the teeth are neither so numerous or large as those of the salmon.  some of them are almost entirely red on the belly and sides ; others are much more white than the salmon, and none of them are varigated with the dark spots which mark the body of the other.  their flesh roe and every other particular with rispect to their [form] is that of the salmon.  this fish we did not see untill we had decended below the Great falls of the Columbia ; but whether they are exclusively confined to this portion of the river or not at all seasons, I am unable to determine.

 
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