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FACTS respecting the ROCK FISH, or STREAKED BASSE, of the United States. By JAMES MEASE, M. D. &c. of Philadelphia. Communicated in a letter to DAVID HOSACK, M. D. &c. dated Philadelphia, June 23, 1815.
[Read before the Society, on the 13th of July, 1815.]
THE fishing ground for rock fish, destined for the Philadelphia and New-York markets, is between Long Branch, on the coast of Monmouth county, New-Jersey, and Cranberry Inlet, and extends about thirty miles in a line; but they are caught from Sandy-Hook to the Capes of Delaware. They make their appearance about the first of September, and in large shoals. Two thousand pounds weight have been caught in one haul of the seine. They keep along shore, between the outer bar and the beach. In the month of November, or in the beginning of December, if the weather continue mild, they leave the sea, and, in company with the common American perch,* run into the rivers along the coast, to pass the winter, stopping or resting, in various places as they ascend, for a day or two at a time, and thus gradually proceed to the head of the rivers, where they remain, unless disturbed, until the following spring. Many of them ascend as high as the
* Bodianus Pallidus? of Mitchill.
depth of water will permit them, and lie among the bushes growing in the water, or that may have fallen therein. Sometimes, however, owing to violent rains, or to the sudden melting of snow, or an unusual quantity of water descending the rivers, the fish are forced from their abode back again to the salt water, and remain there until the freshes subside, when they invariably reascend. The great places of winter resort for those fish are, Motete cunk, thirty miles from Long Branch, and the rivers of Elk and Egg-Harbour.
During the time that those rivers continue frozen, the fish are caught by sinking nets through holes cut in the ice and in the spring of the year, they are sometimes taken in great numbers, by stretching a net across those streams which are too shallow to permit the seine to be drawn in the usual way, and then sweeping the stream from above with bushes connected together, so as to extend from one bank to the other. This practice is, however, justly reprobated as a species of poaching,. dishonourable, and highly injurious to the fishing business; and one instance was mentioned to me of a creek being completely exhausted of fish ever since the first avaricious haul was made in it: this haul was made seven years ago. The stream alluded to is Beaver-dam Creek, that empties over the head of Squam Bay, north of Motetecunk, and, previously to the date mentioned, was noted as one of the constant places of resort for rock-fish and perch, during the winter.
The largest rock-fish, that is, those that weigh from twenty-five pounds to sixty pounds, are called green heads, and do not ascend the rivers, but remain at sea all winter, and spring, until about the middle of May, when they come into the bays of Delaware and New-York, to spawn. In the Deleware bay they never ascend higher than where the salt water meets the fresh. At that season they are remarked to be unusually fat, but the males are fatter than the females. The roes of
some of them weigh ten pounds. The intelligent fisherman from whom the foregoing facts were obtained, is of opinion, that there are barren fish among those large kinds; for he has repeatedly opened them in the spring, without finding either roes or milts. The linea lateralis, and the scales of the rock-fish, caught in salt water, are constantly found darker than those of the same fish caught in fresh water.
CASES OF MORBID ANATOMY.—1. HISTORY of a Case of DISEASED ESOPHAGUS, with a detail of the Morbid Appearances of that and of other parts of the body; with Remarks. By JOHN W. FRANCIS, M. D. Member of the Massachusetts Historical Society; Professor of Materia Medica in the University of the State of NewYork, &c.
[Read before the Society, on the 8th of June, 1815.]
THE information which morbid anatomy supplies is always interesting, frequently important, and may be considered in every instance indispensable, where a complete acquaintance with the exact nature and seat of disease is required. The following case, inasmuch as it exhibits no ordinary example of the great and various changes of structure which the body may undergo, during the predominance of the vital functions, seems to be calculated to augment the stock of physiological and pathological knowledge, if not to enlarge the sanative powers of medical science. The details of the case have been compressed as much as was deemed expedient: less minuteness might have prevented the forming an opinion, how far the symptoms corresponded with the appearances ascertained by dissection.
J**** S********, fifty years of age, a native of Dumfries, in Scotland, of a habit of body rather delicate, and of the melancholic temperament, on the morning of the third day of September, 1814, while attempting to take his ordinary breakfast, found himself incapable
of swallowing, and that the efforts which he made to get even small quantities of food into the stomach gave him severe pain. He referred to the gastric region as the seat of part of the distress which he suffered, and more particularly to a circumscribed spot above the pit of the stomach, under the breast bone. Under those circumstances medical aid was deemed necessary, and he requested the attendance of Doctor David Hosack.
The patient is wholly at a loss to assign any cause for the existence of the alarming complaint under which he labours. He arrived in this country in the year 1796, and, with the exception of occasional slight attacks of cold affecting his chest, his constitution, previous to the year 1798, had never been impaired by disease, and he had uniformly enjoyed excellent health. He was accustomed to the promiscuous use of animal and vegetable diet, and his digestive powers were vigorous. In the summer of 1798, during the prevalence of the malignant yellow fever, in this city, he contracted this febrile disease, from which he with great difficulty recovered. In his case, the yellow fever exhibited its most striking characteristic symptoms; and the affection of his stomach was so severe, that he laboured under the black voint and hiccup for many days: the black vomit, which was similar in its appearance to coffee grounds, was arrested by the free use of lime water and milk, and lime water and porter; then a novel mode of treating this distressing symptom, and first introduced by Dr. Hosack. Since that time the patient has not enjoyed his wonted share of health; though he resumed, and, with scarcely any intermission, continued engaged in his professional business, that of a blacksmith, his constitution he represented to be more nervous than formerly. On account of inattention to dress, and exposure to cold, he has also, since that period, suffered repeatedly and severely, from inflammatory affections of his chest ; and in 1809 he had an attack of hæmoptysis, from which he lost a considerable quantity