LAMPREY ( Petromyzon). A species of eel, held in high estimation as a table delicacy. It is in season in the months of March, April, and May: and is usually taken in nets with salmon, and sometimes in baskets at the bottom of the river. The sea-lamprey (marintis) is sometimes found so large as to weigh four or five pounds. It greatly resembles the eel in shape; but its body is larger, and its snout longer, narrower, and sharper at the termination : the skin is smooth, of a red blackish colour, streaked with yellow. Mr. Salter says, " they come from the sea to spawn in fresh-water rivers in the month of March, and deposit their spawn in holes made in a gravelly sandy bottom." After leaving their spawn, they return to the ocean : some, however, not having strength sufficient for the voyage, remain. The lamprey is frequently caught near Gloucester while angling for perch, gudgeon, &c. with a worm. It is common in Worcestershire. The Severn lamprey perhaps excels. A lamprey pie is annually presented by the city of Gloucester to the king.
Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835
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