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Black Crappie

Common Names:  speckled perch, calico bass, papermouth


With a compressed body, small head and arched back, the black crappie is silvery-green to yellowish, with large dorsal and anal fins of almost identical shape and size. It has a large mouth with an upper jaw extending under the eye. It has many dark spots on its sides and fins, which become more mottled toward the back. To differentiate between a black crappie and a white crappie, count the dorsal spines. The black crappie has seven to eight dorsal spines, while the white crappie has only five to six.

Habitats & Habits

Black crappie thrive in clear ponds, natural lakes and reservoirs with moderate vegetation. Young black crappie prey on insects, plankton and larval fishes. Adult black crappie eat mainly fish, but they will also eat aquatic organisms and terrestrial insects.

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