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many as in similar Lakes, below which there is no steep Cascade?

At the Eel Fisheries on the river Ban, in Ireland, letting for 1000l. per ann. (perhaps the most considerable in our Islands, and where the Eels are frequently caught from nine to ten pounds weight,) it is known they make periodical Voyages, going to the Sea to spawn, and the young fry return against the stream; and to enable them to do that with greater ease, at the leap, straw ropes are hung in the water to facilitate their Ascent.

The Elvers taken in the Severn about April are supposed to be the fry of the Conger Eel; they quite swarm during their Season, and are taken in a kind of Sieve, made of hair-cloth, fixed to a long pole; the Fisherman standing on the edge of the water, during the Tide, puts in his Net as far as he can reach, and drawing it out again, takes multitudes at every sweep, and will collect as many during one Tide as will fill a Bushel. They are esteemed very


The Eel is placed by LINNEUS in the genus of Murana, his first of the Apodal Fish, or such as want the ventral Fins; the Eyes are placed not remote from the end of the nose, the irides are tinged with red; the under jaw is longer than the upper; the teeth are small, sharp, and numerous; beneath each Eye is a minute orifice, at the end of the nose two others. The Eel is furnished with a pair of pectoral fins, rounded at their extremities; behind which is the orifice to the gills, which are concealed in the skin; another fin on the back, uniting with that of

the tail, and the anal fin joins it beneath in the same


Eels vary much in their colours, from a sooty hue, to a light olive green; and those which are termed Silver Eels, have their bellies white, and throughout a remarkable clearness. There is another variety of this Fish, known in the Thames by the name of Grigs; and about Oxford by that of Grigs or Gluts. These are scarce ever seen near Oxford in the winter, but appear in spring, and bite readily, which the common Eels in that neighbourhood will not: they have a bigger head, a blunter nose, thicker skin, and are less fat than the common sort; are in less estimation, and seldom exceed three or four pounds weight. The Eels taken in the Serpentine River in Hyde Park are particu. larly made about the Head, which is large, and they are under-jawed like the Bull-dog. The Black Eel has a large head, a black back, and yellow belly; the flesh is reckoned unwholesome, especially when taken out of mud in standing waters. The Italians have the following proverb, "Give Eels and no Wine Enemies."



The common Eel will grow to a large size, sometimes to weigh twenty pounds, but that is extremely rare; in 1799 one was taken out of the Kennet, near Newbury, which weighed fifteen pounds. WALTON mentions one caught near Peterborough, which was a Yard and three quarters in Length. As to instances brought by DALE and others, of these Fish increasing to a superior Magnitude, there is much

reason to suspect them to have been Congers", since the enormous Eels, they describe have all

* Congers differ from the common Eel in the following particulars. Their colour in general is more dark; their Eyes much larger in proportion; the Irides of a bright silvery Colour. The lower Jaw is rather shorter than the upper. The Side line is broad, whitish, and marked with a row of small spots, Mr. RAY says a double row. The Edges of the dorsal and anal Fins are black. They have more Bones than the common Eel, especially along the back quite to the Head. As to the Distinction that Mr. RAY and other Writers make of the small Beards at the end of the Nose, it ought not to be depended upon, they being sometimes found in both kinds, and sometimes entirely wanting. They grow to a much greater size. Doctor BORLASE assures us, that they are sometimes taken near Mounts'-Bay of one hundred pounds weight. Some taken near Scarborough were Ten feet and a half long, and eighteen inches in Circumference at the thickest part.

Mr. PENNANT believes the Congers generate like the freshwater Species: innumerable quantities of what are supposed to be their Fry, come up the Severn about the month of April, preceding the Shads, which it is conjectured migrate into that River to feed on them.

Congers are extremely voracious, preying on other Fish, and on Crabs at the time they have lost their Shell, and are in a soft state. They and Eels in general are also fond of Carcasses of any kind, being frequently found lodged in such that are accidentally taken up.

Congers are an article of Commerce in Cornwall, and are exported to Spain and Portugal, particularly to Barcelona. The quantities that were formerly sent from Mounts'-Bay for five years were

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been taken at the mouth of the Thames or Medway.

Some are taken by a single hook and line, but (because that mode is tedious and does not answer the expence of time and labour) they are chiefly caught by Bulters, which are strong lines five hundred feet long, with sixty hooks, each eight feet asunder, baited with Pilchards or Mackerel: the Bulters are sunk to the ground by a Stone fastened to them: sometimes so great a number of them are tied together as to reach a Mile. The Fishermen are very fearful of a large Conger, lest it should endanger their Legs by clinging round them; they therefore kill them as soon as possible by striking them on the Navel. They are afterwards cured in this manner: they are slit, and hung on a frame till they dry, having a considerable quantity of Fat which it is necessary should exude before they are fit for use. It is remarkable that a Conger of a hundred weight will waste by drying to Twenty-four pounds; the people therefore prefer the smallest, possibly because they are soonest cured. During the process there is a considerable stench; and it is said that in the Fishing Villages the Poultry are fed with the Maggots that drop from the Fish.

The Portuguese and Spaniards use those dried Congers after they have been ground into a powder, to thicken and give a relish to their Soups. They were sold for about Forty Shillings the Quintal, which weighs one hundred and twenty-six pounds.

Mr. PENNANT remarks, that a Fishery of Congers would be of great advantage to the Inhabitants of the Hebrides. Perhaps they would at first undertake it with Repugnancy, from their absurd Aversion to the Eel kind.

Mr. BARRY in his History of the Orkney Islands, says, the Congers which are about six feet long and one in Circumference, frequent the Seas around those Isles, where it is often caught by lines set for other Fishes, but much oftener by the Otter which drags it ashore, devours a part, and leaves the remainder to be picked up by Carrion Birds, or carried off by the Country People. The Common Eel, continues Mr. B. is to be met with in all our Brooks, Locks, and in the Seas, and at certain Seasons, in great plenty in the Harbour of Stromness; the size is never large, seldom ex

No fish lives so long out of water as the Eel; so tenacious of life is it, that the parts will move a considerable time after they are flayed and cut into pieces.

They are extremely voracious, and most destructive to the Spawn and small Fry of Fish; and Sir JOHN HAWKINS has spoken feelingly of their depre

ceeding two feet and a half in length, and its thickness in proportion. The Skin, which is of a tenacious nature, is stripped off, and worn to prevent the Cramp; but the Fish itself, though excellent Food, is seldom brought to the Table, on account of some Antipathy which the People have to it.

A curious circumstance in the capture of the Conger occurred in July last. A Gentleman angling in the Mersey, killed two fine Congers, one of which weighed twenty-four pounds and a half, and the other twelve pounds. They were taken about an hour before the time of low water, and the bait used was the head and fore part of a small Codling. The station where these extraordinary fish were taken, was at a small distance off the Cheshire shore, between Seacombe Point and the Black Rock. So large fish have rarely been taken by angling with the hand-line. The sneads (in Lancashire, snoods), used on the occasion, were strengthened with strangs of fine brass wire. This most probably prevented the Fish from escaping. The larger fish took up nearly an hour in landing, and his ferocity was such, that, when hauled into the boat, he made a grasp at the hand of an Artist, who was assisting with an iron gig, in securing him. The Conger was esteemed a great delicacy at the tables of the English Epicures of former days, and was generally cooked, as we learn from SHAKSPEARE and other Authors, with Fennel sauce. Of late years, it has yielded the palm to Turtle, Turbot, and the Dory. The oil, however, of the Conger is still much prized, as well as the oil of Ray's liver, for dubbing the boots of fishermen, which are thereby rendered water-proof. What is also remarkable, the above Gentleman, about three years since, killed a Cod-fish, with the hand-line, in the same River, which weighed twenty-two pounds and a half.

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