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Catalog Number KSa020594
Collection Kate Strong Historical Library
Object Name Letter
Dates of Creation 1847/09/15
Scope & Content Copy or rough sketch-
Stony Brook Sept 15th 47:
My, dear Lanman,
I fear I shall not be able to give you that information on Fish & fishing which you desire. I am but little acquainted with the historical accounts of them; their habits &c: all I can do, is to give you an account of the different kinds of Fish taken here and the mode of taken them.--.
-The first fish, taken with us is - flat fish, with hook and line, (clam bait in deep water and muddy bottom) commencing the first of March, and sometimes as early as February, and continue until, first of May-after which time, from some cause unknown to us they will but seldom bite at-the hook,
owing perhaps to more. Abundant food as the season grows warmer,
they, then make their appearance on a sandy bottom when we walk into their affections with the, spear as you may have witnessed. - Flounders are frequently taken with the line also, with spear after the first of May until, in the fall. Flounders feed, upon the heads
- Porgees are taken with the hook in; our harbours and. bays, about the first of June, and soon as late as October. Black fish are taken with line (when dogwood is in bloom and continue with us until late in the fall wherever: there is a rocky shore, to be found. Mr. Thomas S. Griffen took a Black fish last season weighing nine pounds. Three Gents from: the City took sixty weight of black fish from one to four pounds
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each at the above point; the third of July last. The bait used was soft clams. Fiddlers are sometimes used but not always with success,
Blue: fish are taken, by troling & now-& then we hook a striped Bonito.-Striped Bass are taken here in the seine Mossbunkers in the same way in large quantity., Drum, fish, Sturgeon, Ray, skate and sharpe are taken herewith the spear, or harpoon. Trout are taken, in many of the streams and ponds of the Island- -Occasionally, Pike - White and Yellow Perch are also here a white perch was taken, out of Stony Brook mill pond last Spring weighing three pounds five ounces-If you will allow me to speak of eels-one was taken; some years since in Stony Brook harbour by Capt.-John, Oaks, weighing 22 pounds, and, was presented by him to one of the N Y museums and received a ticket of life membership. ...
Fish taken here with hook and line and with soft clam bait-are Flat fish -Flounders Black fish, Porgee, Weak, the banded Gurnard, or Flying fish, Swell fish-Black sea bass, Sheeps head, and King fish. The common Bergall are omnipresent. _ -I believe many other kinds of fish visit us if we understood the proper methods of taken them. The tail part of the swell fish are eaten by some, but they should be skinned first The Banded Gurnard-(Sea Robbin - or Grunter, as they are sometimes called) are taken here in great, abundance-they bite most voraciously

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at the. hook-seldom stop to nibble and on that account no skill is required in bringing them in, and consequently not much sport is had in taken them, They have never been prized very highly-but, when boiled out and mixed with butter & vinegar, -or made into a chowder there are but few better Fish to my liking: When I prepare them for cooking in this way I usually skin them which is done very readily by cutting the fins from the back and belly with a sharp knife to prevent, the skins adhering to them, then cut on the belly towards the head and under the fins in like manner until that part is severed from the boddy=then take out their entrails & commence skinning on the back which easily comes off. with less trouble than the usual way of-cleaning them.
I have, been led to make the above remarks from seeing a work on Fish which stated they were seldom eaten as food -which remarks I have no a doubt has induced many a fisherman who has fished more for his dinner I than amusement to throw them away when he might have made a good meal out of them. They are far better than porgees, and I think equal to black `fish-prepaired in the maner above stated.-You will please give the grunter a reputation.
Ruth - by Page - from your description I should like to see her "The Greek Slave" I have
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had the pleasure of seeing. Your remarks about the background are to the point. When are you coming to see me? I may, possibly be in the City about the first of October. I thank you for the Art News -
"Yours very truly
Charles Lanman Esgr.