Lewis and Clark Today Logo

On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

Drouillard and two others are sent upriver to fish or trade for sturgeon and eulachon. The Captains describe the Mountain beaver. Lewis describes the badger, and Clark describes the bushy-tailed woodrat, panther, and skunk.

This morning we dispatched Drweyer and two men in our Indian canoe up the Columbia River to take sturgeon and Anchovey.

Meriwether Lewis

we have three days provisions only in Store and that of the most inferior dried Elk a little tainted. what a prospect for good liveing at Fort Clatsop at present

William Clark

White sturgeon, Acipenser transmontanus

A bony fish about 5 feet long

Photo ©2006 Cacophony. Permission via the GNU Free Documentation License.

Sewelel is the Chinnook and Clatsop name for a small animal found in the timbered country on this coast.

Meriwether Lewis

Mountain beaver, Aplodontia rufa

Mountain Beaver: small gray ball of fur

Photo created by the U.S. Government.

the Braro so called by the French engages is an animal of the civit genus and much resembles the common badger.

Meriwether Lewis

Badger, Taxidea taxus

Large rodent with black and white stripes and a gold fur belly

Photo created by Gary M. Stolz of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Rat in the rocky mountains on its west side are like those on the upper part of the Missouri in and near those Mountains and have the distingushing trait of possessing a tail covered with hair like other parts of the body;
one of these we caught at the white bear Islands in the beginning of July last and then partially discribed.

William Clark

Bushy-tailed woodrat, Neotoma cinerea

Mouse-like rodent about the size of a small rat

Photo created by Ken Cole of the U.S. Geological Survey.

The Panther is found indifferently either in the great Plains of Columbia the Western Side of the Rocky Mountains or on this coast in the timbered country.
it is precisily the Same animal common to the Atlantic States, and most commonly met with on our frontiers or unsettled parts of the Country.
this animal is Scerce in the Country where they exist and are So remarkable Shye and watchfull that it is extreamly dificuelt to kill them.

William Clark

Cougar, Puma concolor

Statue of a cougar climbing down large rocks

Photo taken with permission at Hells Gate State Park.

The Polecat is found in every part of the Country.
they are very abundant on Some parts of the Columbia, particularly in the neighbourhood of the Great falls & Narrows of that river, where they live in the Clifts along the river & feed on the offal of the Indian fishing Shores.
they are the Same as those of other parts of North America.

William Clark

Skunk, Mephitis mephitis

Cat-like animal with long black fur and a white stripes running the length of the body

Photo ©2005 Diotime. Permission via the Creative Commons 2.0 License.