The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Clark, March 13, 1806
Clark, March 13, 1806
Thursday March 13th 1806. This morning Drewyer Jos. Fields and Frazer returned; they had killed two Elk and two deer. Visited by two Cath-lah-mars 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 Serch for the lost Canoe but was unsucksessfull; while engaged in Serching for the Canoe, 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 2 Deer were at Some distance- R. Field and Thompson who Set out on a hunting excursion yesterday morning towards point Adams have not yet returned. took equal altitudes to day this being the only fair day for Sometime past.
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 precure it; to me the flavour is disagreeable. the Skaite is also common to the Salt water, I have Seen Several of them that had perished and were thrown out on the beach by the tide. The flounder is also an enhabitent of the Salt water. we have Seen them also on the beach where they had been left by the tide. the nativs eate the latter and esteem it very fine. these Several Species are the Same of those of the atlantic Coasts. The Common Salmon and red charr are the inhabitents of both the Sea and river. 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 indebted for their Subsistence. the body of this fish is from 21/2 to 3 feet long and perpotionably broad. it is covered with imbricated scales of a moderate Size and is varigated with errigular black Spots on its Side and gills. the eye is large and the iris of a Silvery colour the pupil black. the rostrum or nose extend beyond the under jaws, and both the upper and the 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 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 Venteral 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 transparrent 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.
The Red Charr are reather broader in proportion to their length than the Common Salmon, the Skales are also embricated but reather large. the nostrum exceeds the lower jaw more and the teeth are neither So noumerous 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 respect to their 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.
The Salmon Trout are Seldom more than two feet in length, they are narrow in purportion to their length, at least much more So than the Salmon & red charr. their jaws are nearly of the Same length, and are furnished with a Single Series of Subulate Streight teeth, not so long or so large as those of the Salmon, the mouth is wide, and the tongue is also furnished with Some teeth. the fins are placed much like those of the Salmon. at the Great Falls are met with this fish of a Silvery white colour on the belly and Sides, and a blueish light brown on the back and head. in this neighbourhood we have met with another Species which does not differ from the other in any particular except in point of Colour. this last is of a dark colour on the back, and its Sides and belley are yellow with transverse Stripes of dark brown. Sometimes a little red is intermixed with these Colours on the belly and Sides towards the head. the flesh & roe is like those described of the Salmon. the white Species which we found below the falls were in excellent order when the Salmon were entirely out of Season and not fit for use. The Species which we found here early in november on our arival in this quarter had declined considerably, reather more so than the Red charr with which we found them asociated in the little riverlets and creeks. I think it may be Safely asserted that the Red Charr and both Species of the Salmon trout remain in Season longer in the fall of the year than the common Salmon; but I have my doubt whether of the Species of the Salmon trout ever pass the Great falls of the Columbia. The Indians tell us that the Salmon begin to run early in the next month; it will be unfortunate for us if they do not, for they must form our principal dependance for food in assending the Columbia above the Falls and it's S. E. branch Lewis's river to the Mountains.
The Speckled or Mountain Trout are found in the waters of the Columbia within the Rocky mountains. they are the Same of those found in the upper part of the Missouri, but are not So abundent in the Columbian Waters as in that river. The bottle nose is also found on the waters of the Columbia within the mountains.