The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Clark, March 12, 1806
Clark, March 12, 1806
Wednesday March 12th 1806
We Sent a party again in Serch of the Canoe but they returned unsucksessfull as yesterday Sent one hunter out on this Side of the Netul he did not return this evening. Our party are now furnished with 358 par of Mockersons exclusive of a good portion of Dressed leather, they are also previded with Shirts Overalls Capoes of dressed Elk Skins for the homeward journey.
Besides the fish of this Coast and river already mentioned we have met with the following Species. viz. the Whale, Porpus, Skaite, flounder, Salmon, red-carr, two Specis of Salmon trout, mountain or Speckled trout, and a Speceis Similar to one of those noticed on the Missouri within the mountains, called in the Eastern States, bottle nose. I have no doubt but there are many other Species of fish which also exist in this quarter at different Seasons of the year, which we have not had an oppertunity of seeing. the Shell fish are the Clam, perriwinkle, common Muscle, cockle, and a Species with a circular flat Shell.
The Whale is Sometimes pursued harpooned and taken by the Indians of this Coast; tho I believe it is much more frequently killed by running on the rocks of the Coast to S. S. W. in violent Storms, and thrown on different parts of the Coast by the winds and tide-. in either case the Indians preserve and eat the blubber and Oil as has been before mentioned. the whale bone they also carefully preserve for Sale.
The Reptiles of this Country are the rattle snake, garter Snake a common brown Lizzard. The Season was so far advanced on this side of the Rocky Mountains that but fiew rattle Snakes were Seen, I did not remark one particularly my Self, nor do I know if they are of either of the four Species found in different parts of the United States, or of that Species before observed only on the upper parts of the Missouri & its branches.
The Garter Snake So Called in the U States is very common in this country, they are found in great numbers on the open and Sometimes marshy grounds in this neighbourhood. they differ not at all from those of the United States. the Black or Dark brown Lizzard we Saw at the long narrows or Commencement of the woody country on the Columbia; they are also the Same with those of the U, States. The Snail is noumerous in the woodey Country on this Coast, they are in Shape like those of the U, States, but are at least five times their bulk. there is a Specis of water Lizzard of which I only Saw one just above the grand rapid of the Columbia. it is about 9 inches long the body is reather flat and about the Size of a mans finger, covered with a Soft Skin of dark brown Colour with an uneaven sufice covered with little pimples, the neck and head are Short, the latter termonateing in an accute angular point and flat. the fore feet each have four toes, the hinder ones five unconnected with a web and destitute of tallons. it's tail was reather longer than the body, and in form like that of the muskrat, first riseing in an arch higher than the back, and decending lower than the body at the extremety, and flated perpindicularly. the belly and under part of the neck and head were of a Brick red every other part of the colour of the upper part of the body are dark brown. the mouth was Smooth without teeth.
The horns of Some of the Elk have not yet fallen off and those of others have Grown to the length of Six inches. the latter are in the best order, from which it would Seem that the pore Elk retain their horns longer.