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Black Crappie

Pomoxis nigromaculatus

Crappie Family

Freshwater Fish Identification

Black Crappie

Common Name(s):
Calico bass, papermouth
Irregular dark blotches mark the sides and fins of the black crappie and give it its name. The body color is silvery on the sides, changing to dark olive or black on the back. The long dorsal fin with 7 or 8 spines can easily differentiate it from its close cousin the white crappie.
Similar Fish:
White crappie
Feeding Habits:
Black crappie adults feed on fewer fish, and more insects and crustaceans, than do white crappie.
The native range of black crappie included the area west of the Appalachian Mountains north to southern Canada and south to the Gulf of Mexico. The range extended west to Minnesota and South Dakota in the north, and to northeastern Mexico in the south. Today the range extends east to the Atlantic coast, and west to include California and portions of Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, Colorado, Utah, and North Dakota.
Generally, the black crappie prefers clear water containing aquatic vegetation. They are less tolerant of silt and turbidity than white crappie.
Typical Size:
Black crappie average 10 to 14 inches in length and a good size fish will weigh 1 to 2 pounds.
World Record:
4 pounds, 8 ounces (Source - IGFA)