Black Crappie
(Pomoxis nigromaculatus)
Crappies are easily recognized by their highly compressed, diamond-shaped bodies.  They grow 8-12 inches long and occasionally larger. The coloration  of  the black crappie is  a pale silvery white on the sides and belly.  Their back is dark green , with  dense patches of dark scales  that coalesce to form irregular blotches and marbling. Black and white crappies can most easily be distinguished from one another by the number of spines in the  front dorsal fin. The white crappie  has  5  or  6  spines  and  the  black  has  7  or  8  spines.
Crappies are also known 
by other names such as
calico bass or strawberry bass.

They are  often  caught in  large numbers  in early  spring  shortly after ice-out. Crappies  travel in schools and feed  voraciously  at that time  of  year. The New York State record black crappie was caught in Duck Lake  in  1998 and weighed  3lbs.12oz. They are an extremely popular panfish and highly sought after because of their delicious flesh.

Crappies  prefer  clear, quiet  areas  of  lakes,  ponds,  and  larger rivers.  They will be found in  areas with  abundant vegetation and structure  such  as  logs, stumps,  and overhanging  brush  near the shore.  Their  food  consists  of  insects  and  small  fish.

Spawning  takes  place  from  late  May  to  July  when  the  water temperatures are higher than 68 F. Nests that are 8 to 9 inches in diameter are  constructed  by fanning  depressions  in water that is 10 inches to 2 feet deep. The nests are built on a sandy bottom and usually in weedy areas. The nests are usually 5 or 6 feet apart. The eggs  are less  than one  millimeter in  diameter and  hatch in 3 to 5 days.  The  crappie  will  live  for  about  ten  years.

Crappies  can be  stocked  in all  but the  coldest  farm ponds. They do extremely well in ponds that are stocked with bass. They provide a food  supply for the  larger  predator fish  and  generally  do  not overpopulate when  bass or walleye are  present. In  new ponds they can be  stocked  at a  rate of  150 to  200  fingerlings  per surface acre.  In  older ponds  with an  established  population  of  predator fish,  adult  breeder  crappies  can  be  stocked  at  a  rate  of  50 per acre.

Finger Lakes Aquaculture 7627 County Rd. 36 
Naples, NY 14512 
(585) 374-2974 
Phil Faber - Owner