Smelt, or Salmo eperlanus, L. a fish of a beautiful form and colour ; its head is transparent, and skin, in general, so thin that, with a good microscope, the circulation of the blood maybe distinctly perceived.
Smelts inhabit the 6eas, and er swim at a great distance from the shore, excepting when ascend the current of rivers. In the months of November, December, and January, incalculable numbers are caught in the Thames and Dee; in March and April they cast their spawn, after which uniformly retire to the sea ; though the young smelts remain in their native streams, till they are several inches long. This fish varies in size, sometimes measuring 12 inches and upwards in length; and weighing half a pound: it has a peculiar flavour, which slightly mbles that of the violet melts are in season towards the latter end of summer, or in the beginning of autumn; - they are sold in the streets of London, split and dried, under the name of dried sparlings : - epicures eat them as a relish to a glass of wine, in the morning. - When cooked in a fresh state, they are very nutritious, and easy of digestion.