Black Crappie

Pomoxis negromaculatus

The Black Crappie is a large sunfish, although not as big as the Largemouth Bass. It grows up to 16 inches long and can weigh five pounds, but they are usually much smaller.

Black Crappie have a rounded body. The back of this fish is greenish and the sides are silvery with black markings. The belly is silvery without the markings.

Black Crappie live in warm ponds, lakes, streams, and resevoirs. They are schooling fish, so they like to stay in groups.

Crappie.com

Black Crappie spawn (breed) in May and June. Male fish sweep out a nest in sand or gravel in water three to eight feet deep.

After the female lays up to 60,000 eggs in the nest, she swims away and the male guards the eggs. He will stay with the baby fish until they are able to start feeding.

Black Crappie grow two to three inches their first year.

Copyright, Fishing Lake Simcoe

Young Black Crappie eat zooplankton. Zooplankton are tiny microscopic animals and other organisms, including: water fleas, mosquito larvae, paramecium, amoeba, nematodes, rotifers, and euglena. As they get bigger, the crappie eat larger foods. Adult Black Crappie eat small fish, insects, crayfish, tadpoles, and just about anything else that will fit in their mouths.

Black Crappie eat during the day and at night, but they feed most during the evening. They like water with lots of plants and underwater structures, such as logs, stumps, and rocks. They will also sit in water with overhanging trees creating shade and shadows. When it gets hot in the Summer, crappie move out to deeper water.

Predators of Black Crappie include any larger fish (especially when they are young), such as Largemouth Bass and Channel Catfish. They are also eaten by Great Blue Herons, Common Snapping Turtles, and Belted Kingfishers.

Relationships in Nature:

PREY
PREDATORS
SHELTER
OTHER

Asian Tiger Mosquito

Largemouth Bass

Pickerelweed

Common Carp EC

Water Flea

Channel Catfish

Yellow Pond Lily

The Big Red Worm Pa

Amoeba

Great Blue Heron

Long-leaf Pondweed

Paramecium

Belted Kingfisher

Hydrilla

Euglena

Common Snapping Turtle

Common Reed

Eastern Dobsonfly

Eastern Painted Turtle

Lizard's Tail

Green Darner

Human

Greater Bladderwort

Large Diving Beetle

Yellow Perch

Green Algae

Eastern Yellow Jacket

Bald Eagle

Common Cattail

Creek Chub

Ring-billed Gull

Common Duckweed

Golden Shiner

Marsh Bulrush

Eastern Newt

Arrow Arum

Crayfish

Wild Rice

Largemouth Bass

Bullfrog

Earthworm

Yellow Perch

Crane Fly

Cabbage White

Aquatic Worm

Relationship to Humans:

Black Crappie are a popular sport fish and many people eat them, especially in the Spring when crappie are spawning and will eat just about anything. Black Crappie, and their cousins, White Crappie, do an excellent job helping to control populations of insects and other animals.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Animal
PHYLUM
Chordate
CLASS
Bony Fish
ORDER
Perciformes
FAMILY
Centrarchidae
GENUS
Pomoxis
SPECIES
Pomoxis nigromaculatus

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