The Black Crappie (Pomoxis Nigromaculatus)

Black Crappie

The black crappie is a member of the sunfish family, although it does not play the role typical of the bluegill. The black crappie is also called the calico bass, and since a large mouth is also a sunfish, it is an appropriate nickname.

The crappie acts more like a predator than prey. It feeds mainly on minnows and other small fish and must be managed accordingly. Crappie often overpopulate in ponds less than 2 acres.

However, with the addition of submerged structures and other predators such as large mouth bass, and an annual stocking of minnows in the spring and fall, crappie can be successfully managed in smaller ponds.

There are two species of crappie: black and white. The black crappie can be differentiated from the white crappie by the number of stiff spines on the dorsal fin. Black crappie have seven or eight bony spines while white crappie only have five or six.

White crappie should not be stocked in small lakes or ponds due to their excessive reproductive rate. Black crappie spawn in early spring in 4 to 8 feet of water. Yearling fish will range in size from 3 to 6 inches, depending on the food supply.

Stocking along with large mouth bass often controls black crappie populations and helps grow trophy bass. Black crappie become sexually mature at 5 to 8 inches.

How To Buy Black Crappie

Smith Creek Fish Farm is centrally located in Western New York about an hour's drive from Buffalo and Rochester.  The hatchery and retail pond supply outlet have seasonal hours for fish pickup and walk-in customers. Our expert fish packers will oxygen bag your fish for easy, safe, and stress-free transport. 

We do suggest bringing coolers or totes to hold your bagged fish.  Truck delivery of trout, game fish, and forage is available in the WNY area when orders meet our delivery minimums. We also safely ship, by UPS Next Day Air, many of our fish species including triploid grass carp and crayfish

Unfortunately, we ONLY ship fish to New York addresses.  All of our fish are 2022 NY DEC certified disease-free and have been for more than 10 years.

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