Astoria; Or, Anecdotes Of An Enterprise Beyond The Rocky Mountains By Washington Irving




































































































































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The salmon, which are the prime fish of the Columbia, and as
important to the piscatory tribes as are the - Page 390
Astoria; Or, Anecdotes Of An Enterprise Beyond The Rocky Mountains By Washington Irving - Page 390 of 615 - First - Home

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The Salmon, Which Are The Prime Fish Of The Columbia, And As Important To The Piscatory Tribes As Are The

Buffaloes to the hunters of the prairies, do not enter the river until towards the latter part of May, from

Which time, until the middle of August, they abound and are taken in vast quantities, either with the spear or seine, and mostly in shallow water. An inferior species succeeds, and continues from August to December. It is remarkable for having a double row of teeth, half an inch long and extremely sharp, from whence it has received the name of the dog-toothed salmon. It is generally killed with the spear in small rivulets, and smoked for winter provision. We have noticed in a former chapter the mode in which the salmon are taken and cured at the falls of the Columbia; and put tip in parcels for exportation. From these different fisheries of the river tribes, the establishment at Astoria had to derive much of its precarious supplies of provisions.

A year's residence at the mouth of the Columbia, and various expeditions in the interior, had now given the Astorians some idea of the country. The whole coast is described as remarkably rugged and mountainous; with dense forests of hemlock, spruce, white and red cedar, cotton-wood, white oak, white and swamp ash, willow, and a few walnut. There is likewise an undergrowth of aromatic shrubs, creepers, and clambering vines, that render the forests almost impenetrable; together with berries of various kinds, such as gooseberries, strawberries, raspberries, both red and yellow, very large and finely flavored whortleberries, cranberries, serviceberries, blackberries, currants, sloes, and wild and choke cherries.

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