The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, March 13, 1806

Lewis, March 13, 1806

Thursday March 13th 1806. This morning Drewyer Jos Feilds and Frazier returned; they had killed two Elk and two deer. visited by two Cathlahmahs who left us in the evening. we sent Drewyer down to the Clatsop village to purchase a couple of their canoes if possible. Sergt. Pryor and a party made another surch for the lost peroge but was unsuccessfull; while engaged in surching for the perogue Collins one of his party killed two Elk near the Netul below us. we sent Sergt. Ordway and a party for the flesh of one of the Elk beyond the bay with which they returned in the evening. the other Elk and two deer were at some distance. R. Fields and Thompson who set out yesterday morning on a hunting excurtion towards point Adams have not yet returned. The horns of some of the Elk have not yet fallen off, and those of others have shotten out to the length of six inches. the latter are in the best order, from which it would seem that the poor Elk retain their horns longest.

The Porpus is common on this coast and as far up the river as the water is brackish. the Indians sometimes gig them and always eat the flesh of this fish when they can procure it; to me the flavor is disagreeable. the Skaite is also common to the salt water, we have seen several of them that had perished and were thrown out on the beach by the tide. The flounder is also an inhabitant of the salt water, we have seen them also on the beach where they had been left by the tide. the Indians eat the latter and esteem it very fine. these several speceis are the same with those of the Atlantic coast. 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 21/2 to 3 feet long and proportionably broad. it is covered with imbricated scales of a moderate size and is variegated 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 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 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 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 ____ 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. 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 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 grat 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.