[Three Hundred Animals Contents]
IS the boast of large rivers, and one of the noblest inhabitants of the sea, if we esteem him by his bulk, his colour, or the sweetness of his flesh. They are found of a great weight, and sometimes measure five feet at least in length. The colour is beautiful, a dark blue dotted with black spots on the back, decreasing to silvery white on the sides, and perfectly white with a little shade of pink on the belly. The fins are comparatively small as to the bigness of the bulk. Destined by nature to feed man, they come up the rivers that run down from inland countries, and there the female deposits her eggs. Soon after, both she and the male take an excursion to the vast regions of the sea, and do not return to the land streams again till the next year, for the same purpose. They are so powerfully impelled by this natural sense that, when swimming up a river, if they are stopped by a fall of water, they spring up with such a force through the descending torrent, that they stem it, till they reach the higher bed of the stream. Whether they are attracted there, and overcome so many difficulties and hardships by the innate desire of spawning again where they were originally deposited in the shape of eggs, or by any other cause, is not yet ascertained. The Salmon is found nearly of the same size in all parts of Europe. The flesh is red when raw; redder when salted, and little paler when boiled; it is an agreeable food, fat, tender and sweet, and excels in delicacy most part of the sea-fish: however it does not agree with all stomachs and is chiefly hurtful when eaten by sick persons. The Salmon feeds on earth worms, minnows and other small fish. The pickled Salmon is a good substitute for the fresh one, and is a great branch of trade between Newcastle and the rest of England, where it is in great requisition.