In a letter to the Salem Statesman Hon. John Mento, of Marion county calls the attention of The Astorian to a queer fish caught in a high cascade mountain stream recently by Mr. Shrum. Mr. Minto says this fish was twenty two inches long, with a general appearance, on a hasty glance, of being a trout, but upon a critical inspection proved a fish that might be described as a cross between the catfish of the Mississippi waters and a trout; head large, mouth to correspond, body roundish and tapering from the gills to the tail, color very dark on the back and gradually lightening to a whitish yellow underneath, the whole body splashed with irregular sized orange colored spots.
Perhaps it was the habits of the fish, as described to me by many of the young men in camp and which was confirmed by the oldest of them who have had opportunity to observe them, that gave him (to me) the most repulsive look which I ever noticed in a fish of the trout kind.
To these habits I invite the attention of all lovers of that kind of food fishes, the salmon; and those in Oregon who have interested themselves in keeping up the supply of salmon in the waters of the state. The egg eater is the name applied to the fish by the anglers here. They are frequently caught from two feet to thirty inches long. They wait upon and diligently watch the female salmon and salmon trout, and devour the spawn. The male salmon chase them, and fight them, but wolfish in their nature, they are persistent in their quest of prey.
At other times than the spawning season they are sluggish in their habits, take slowly but certainly such baits as a piece of raw meat, and never (according to my informants), rise to a fly or other surface feed. Mr. E Henness, who is well acquainted with the fish and its habits here and has trapped and fished on many of the head branches of the upper Columbia, tells me he has always found the egg-eater in streams frequented by salmon, but has never noticed them in waters where the salmon was not or could not be. If my information is correct, its destruction, as a species, as soon and complete as possible, would certainly be one means of conserving the public interest in the wealth of salmon the waters of state are capable of yielding.