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

king salmon

Capt. Lewis, March 13, 1806-- the common Salmon and red Charr are the inhabitants of both the sea and rivers.  the former is usually largest and weighs from 5 to 15 lbs.  it is this speceis that extends itself into all the rivers and little creeks on this side of the Continent, and to which the natives are so much indebted for their subsistence.  the body of this fish is from 2 1/2 to 3 feet long and proportionably broad.  it is covered with imbricated scales of a moderate size and is variagated with irregular black spots on it's sides and gills.  the eye is large and the iris of a silvery colour the pupil black.  the nostrom [rostrum] or nose extends beyond the under jaw, and both the upper and lower jaws are armed with a single series of long teeth which are subulate and infle[c]ted near the extremities of the jaws where they are also more closely arranged.  they have some sharp teeth of smaller size and same shape placed on the tongue which is thick and fleshey.  the fins of the back are two ; the first is plaised nearer the head than the ventral fins and has [blank space in manuscript] rays, the second is placed far back near the tail is small and has no rays.  the flesh of this fish is when in order of a deep flesh coloured red and every shade from that to an orrange yellow, and when very meager almost white.  the roes of this fish are much esteemed by the natives who dry them in the sun and preserve them for a great length of time.  they are about the size of a small pea nearly transparent and of a redish yellow colour.  they resemble very much at a little distance the common currants of our gardens but are more yellow.  this fish is sometimes red along the sides and belley near the gills; particularly the male.

Capt. Clark, March 13, 1806-- the common salmon and red charr are the inhabitants of both the sea and rivers.  the former is usially largest and weighs from 5 to 15 lbs.  it is this species that extends itself into all the rivers and little creek on this side of the Continent, and to which the nativs are so much indented for their subsistence.  the body of this fish is from 2 1/2 to 3 feet long and perpotionably broad.  it is covered with imbricated scales of a moderate size and is varigated with irregular black spots on its sides and gills.  the eye is large and the iris of a silvery colour the pupil black.  the nostrom or nose extend beyond the under jaw, and both the upper and lower jaw are armed with a single series of long teeth which are subulate and infleted near the extremities of the jaws where they are also more closely arranged.  they have some sharp teeth of smaller size and same shape on the tongue which is thick and fleshey.  the fins of the back are two ; the first is placed nearer the head than the Ventral fins and has rays, the second is placed far back near the tail is small and has no rays.  The flesh of this fish when in order of a deep flesh coloured red and every shade from that to an orrange yellow, and when very meager almost white.  the Roe of this fish are much esteemed by the nativs, who dry them in the sun and preserve them for a great length of time.  they are about the size of a small pea nearly transparent and of a redish yellow colour.  they resemble very much at a little distance the common current of our gardens but are more yellow.  this fish is sometimes red along the sides and belly near the gills ; particularly the male of this species.

 
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