Black Crappie

Pomoxis nigromaculatus

About This Animal

SIZE: 19.3 in (49 cm)

RANGE: Widespread throughout the United States

HABITAT: Lakes, ponds, sloughs, backwaters and pools of streams

DIET: Aquatic insects and fish

ON EXHIBIT:  Tennessee River Gallery in River Journey

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. Considered an excellent game fish when taken on light tackle. 

Black Crappie spawn 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.