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Of the Game Laws relative to Angling.
A Description of Fishes, according to Natural
History, with the best Methods of breeding,
feeding, &c. FISHES in natural history are animals that live
in the water, as their proper place of abode. Naturalists observe a world of wisdom and design in the structure of fishes, and their conformation to the element they reside in.
Their bodies are cloathed and guarded in the best manner, with scales or shells, suitable to their respective circumstances, the dangers they are exposed to, and the motion and business they are to perform.
The centre of gravity is placed in the fittest part of the body of swimming, and their shape most commodious for making way through the water, and most agreeable to geometrical rules.
They have several parts peculiar to themselves; as fins, to balance and keep them upright; an air bladder, or swim, to enable them to rise or sink
to any height or depth of water, at pleasure ; gills, or branchiæ, whereby they respire, as land animals do by lungs; the tail, an instrument' of progressive motion, which serves to row them forward ; eyes peculiarly formed to enable them to correspond to all the convergencies and divergencies of rays, which the variations of the watery medium, and the refractions thereof may occasion, in which respect they bear a near resemblance to birds. · Fishes are distinguished into sea, or salt water fish, pisces marini ; as the whale, herring, mackarel, &c. river or fresh water fish, pisces fluviales : as the pike, trout, &c. and pond or lake fish : as the carp, tench, &c. to which may be added, others which abide indifferently in fresh water, or salt: as salmon, shad-fish, &c.
There are also an amphibious 'kind, which live indifferently on land or water : as the castor, ot
Aristotle, and after him Mr. Willoughby, more accurately distinguish fishes into cetaceous, cartiliganous, and spinous.
The cetaceous kind, called also belluæ marina, have lungs, and breathe like quadrupeds ; they copulate also like them, and conceive 'and bring forth their young alive, which they afterwards suckle with their milk.
The cartiliganous sort are produced from large eggs, like birds ; which are also excluded the womb like those of birds.
The spinous kind are also oviparous; but their eggs are smaller, and they have spinæ up and down their flesh to strengthen it.
Willoughby thinks it would be ýet more proper to divide fishes into such as breathe with lungs, and such as breathe with gills ; and then to subdivide
those A 6.
those that breathe with gills, not into cartiliganous and spinous, but into viviparous and oviparous.
The viviparous kind, that breathe with gills, he subdivides into long ; such as the galei and cines, or sharks and dog fish: and broad ; such as the pastinaca, raja, &c. &c. the subdivisions of each whereof, he gives in his chapter of cartiliganous fishes in general.
The oviparous kind, that breathe with gills, are the most numerous; and these he subdivides into such as are what we usually call flat fish; and such as swim with their backs upright, or at right angles to the horizon.
The plain or flat fish kind, called usually plani spinosi, are either quadrati, as the rombi and pasa seres, or those of the turbot and flounder kind; or longiusculi, as the solæ, or sole kind.
Such as swim with their backs erect, are either long and smooth, and without scales, as the eel kind, or shorter and less smooth ; and these have either but one pair of fins at their gills, which are called orbes and congeneres, or else another pair of fins also on their bellies ; which latter kind he subdivides into two kinds : 1. Such as have no prickly fins on their backs, but soft and flexible ones. 2. Such as have prickly fins on their backs.
Those fishes which have only soft and flexible fins on their backs, may be divided into such as have three, two, or but one single fin there.
No fish but the aselli have three fins on their backs.
Fishes with two fins on their backs, are either the truttaceous, trout kind; or the gobionites, loch, or gudgeon kind.
Fishes with but one soft back fil, are of three sorts. The first kind have one long continued