National Geographic : 1923 Dec
FISHES OF OUR NORTH ATLANTIC SEABOARD 607 CLEANING FISH IN QUAINT ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND Many men spend practically their entire lives as fish cleaners. Even in so humble a trade rivalries crop out, and there are a number of claimants for the international championship in fish dressing. Herring, Lobster, Cusk, etc. Crabs and Mol lusks are also to its liking. Instances are re corded where it has attacked Codfish and stunned them by the flip of its tail. One was so busy putting a big Cod hors de combat that it allowed a dory to steal up and capture it before it had become aware of its peril. The female Halibut becomes heavy with roe in July and August, and instances have oc curred where such a large quantity was taken from one of them that a good-sized man could scarcely carry it. COMMON STURGEON (Acipenser sturio) (For illustration see Color Plate IV) The Common Sturgeon has a maximum length of about 10 feet and sometimes reaches a weight of 500 pounds. Its range is from the Carolinas to Maine, but the region of its great est abundance is the Delaware River. It is a migratory fish, spends most of its time near the shore, and then runs to brackish or fresh water to spawn. Considerable change in the Sturgeon's ap pearance takes place as it grows older. The young have more slender and protuberant snouts than their elders. The sexes also differ, in that the male has an oblong head, with a wide, blunt snout, while the female's head is triangular, rapidly narrowing from the back to the snout. A bottom-feeder, the presence of Mussel and other shell fragments in its stomach, as well as of mud containing the remains of small crusta ceans, tells of its habit of scooping its dinner from the floor of the sea. The barbels and lips are sensitive in the detection of food, but the snout is used to root up the soft bottom of shoal places in search of something to eat.