The sturgeons, of which there are a good many species in Europe and America, are of no use to the angler. They are anadromous fishes of which little more can be said than that a specimen might take a bottom bait once in a way. In Russia they are sometimes caught on long lines armed with baited hooks, and occasionally an angler hooks one. Such a case was reported from California in The Field of the 19th of August 1905.
Two other anadromous fish deserve notice. The first is the shad, a herring-like fish of which two species, allice and twaite (Clupea alosa and C. finta), ascend one or two British and several continental rivers in the spring. The twaite is the more common, and in the Severn, Wye and Teme it sometimes gives very fair sport to anglers, taking worm and occasionally fly or small spinning bait. It is a good fighter, and reaches a weight of about 3 lb. Its sheen when first caught is particularly beautiful. America also has shads.
The other is the flounder (Pleuronectes flesus), the only flat-fish which ascends British rivers. It is common a long way up such rivers as the Severn, far above tidal influence, and it will take almost any flesh-bait used on the bottom. A flounder of 1 lb is, in a river, a large one, but heavier examples are sometimes caught.
The eel (Anguilla vulgaris) is regarded by the angler more as a nuisance than a sporting fish, but when of considerable size (and it often reaches a weight of 8 lb or more) it is a splendid fighter and stronger than almost any fish that swims. Its life history has long been disputed, but it is now accepted that it breeds in the sea and ascends rivers in its youth. It is found practically everywhere, and its occurrence in isolated ponds to which it has never been introduced by human agency has given rise to a theory that it travels overland as well as by water. The best baits for eels are worms and small fish, and the best time to use them is at night or in thundery or very wet weather.