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NATURAL HISTORY, TORONTO REGION

 

which the parents keep guard, the male being most assiduous in the work of protection. In about a week the eggs are hatched, and the young, which look very like little black tadpoles, follow the parent fish along the shores until nearly the middle of July, when they are left to shift for themselves; after this the fry soon scatter and disappear into deep weedy water. They grow rapidly, and under favorable circumstances are said to attain maturity in three years. The Catfish is an omnivorous feeder, nothing in the shape of animal food being beneath its notice, nor is it particular where it obtains its food, for I have taken it at all depths, from the surface of the water to the bottom, though its general habit is to grub about on the mud, seeking for what it may devour. As an article of food this fish does not rank in the first class in the estimation of most people; there are others, however, who prefer it to any of the so-called " coarse fish," while to the small boy who goes fishing it is a source of endless delight and a joy forever.

5. Stone Catfish. Noturus flavus (Rafinesque). This species is found in the larger streams falling into Lake Ontario, but is not common. It is an unpleasant fish to handle because of the painful wounds produced by its pectoral spines. There is a minute pore at the base of the pectoral spine which is the outlet of a noxious fluid secreted by a poison gland. When this poison is discharged into a wound it causes a very painful sore.

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