White Crappie

White Crappie Pomoxis annularis

Type of Animal:

Thrive in clear & turbid murky waters w/ slightly acidic to basic pH of 6.5-8.5-rivers, reservoirs, lakes, areas w/ little rooted aquatic vegetation, low-velocity pools, river backwaters, open water, shallower quiet water, smaller sand/mud-bottom ponds, slow streams, open water in ponds in/near submerged timber, shallower water near vegetation/submerged woody structure, freshwater areas w/ underwater brush/rocks/weeds, backwater pools, creek backwaters, sand/mud-bottom pools, shallower turbid ponds, river basins, near drop-offs, standing timber, brushy cover, quiet sluggish ponds w/ submerged timber/inundated shoreline woody vegetation

Native to E South Dakota/E Nebraska/E Kansas/E Oklahoma/E Texas in W to N Georgia/W N Carolina/W Virginia/W Pennsylvania/W New York in E as well as SE Ontario. Introduced/invasive in most of continental US, S Canada, Mexico, & Panama.

Similar body plan to Black Crappie but lighter in color & has dark vertical bars along sides rather than scattered spots, males darker than females, deep-bodied fish w/ flattened body, weigh slightly less than Black Crappie but slightly longer than Black Crappie

Minnows, young American shad, gizzard shad, threadfin shad, young common carp, smaller sunfish, young yellow perch, smaller crappie (including own species), insects, insect larvae, crustaceans, zooplankton, young walleye, young pike, small frogs, young bass, johnny darters

Status in Wild:

Not applicable

Schools of 20-105 fish. Colonial nesters w/ colonies having up to 35 nests-each one guarded by territorial male who guards eggs/newly hatched fry. After 2-4 days, fry leave dad.

Additional Info:

Young: Fry/Fingerling
Group: School
Male: 0.5-1.9 lbs
Female: 0.25-1 lb
3-5 days

Life Span:
6-10 years

Body Length:
Male: 9-16 in
Female: 7-11 in
Young: 1.97 in

Tail Length:
1.3 in, same for both sexes

Main predators of adults are pike, walleye, muskies, bass, alligators, snapping turtles, herons, eagles, osprey, otters, mink, cormorants, mergansers, gulls, bears, raccoons, & kingfishers. White bass, larger crappies, & sunfish eat juveniles/young.
Sometimes hybridize w/ closely related Black Crappie in areas where they meet.
Also called papermouth, newlight, white perch, & Sac-a-lait (Cajun French for bag of milk).
Males make saucer-shaped nests in shallow water.
Reach maturity at 2 years old.
Spawning occurs in May & June.
Younger fish found in shallower waters than older fish.

Fun Fact(s):
Meat said to be flaky.
Single female can produce up to 173,600 eggs a season & multiple females lay eggs in single nest. This makes these fish very prolific & they easily explode if not kept in check. Females also spawn w/ multiple males.
Males highly defensive of eggs, even charging at humans who get too close.
They’re very popular game fish.

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