Sprat, or Clupea sprattus, L. a well-known diminutive fish, which is from three to six inches in length, and in shape resembles the Herring.

Sprats are caught in numerous shoals in the river Thames, which they enter early in the month of November; continuing there till March : during which period they afford a cheap, and not unwholesome nutriment, chiefly to the poorer classes in the metropolis.

These fish are cured in the same manner as herrings, at Gravesend and Yarmouth : they are also occasionally pickled, in which state they are little interior to an excepting that the bones of the former will not separate from the fleshy part, like those of the latter. - For an account of Mr. Batley's patent, for curing sprats, the reader will consult vol. iii. p. 463.