The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Clark, February 25, 1806
Clark, February 25, 1806
Tuesday February 25th 1806
It continued to rain and blow So violently that there was no movement of the party to day. the Indians left us in the morning on their return to their village. Willard Somewhat worse the others are on the recovery. we are mortified at not haveing it in our power to make more Celestial observations since we have been at Fort Clatsop, but Such has been the State of the weather that we have found it utterly impractiable-. 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. 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 blueish 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 blueish cast, and the second of a light gold colour nearly white. the puple of the eye is black and the iris of a silver white. the under jaw exceeds the upper; and the mouth opens to 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 preperation whatever. they are so fat that they require no aditional sauce, and I think them Superior to any fish I ever tasted, even more dilicate 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 pardened for believeing this quit as good. the bones are So Soft and fine that they form no obstruction in eating this fish.