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Main Index > Detailed Fish Profiles > Miscellaneous species > Black crappie
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This profile was written by Shaner an active contributor to the site.  

North America


Pomoxis nigromaculatus

Pomoxis nigromaculatus



    Found in all 48 contiguous states the Crappie is a popular sport fish, however is quite able to make it in a Aquarium setting. Favoring warm highly vegetated moderately acidic and no turbulent water of lakes and rivers in its natural range.
Quick stats:

    Listed tank sizes are the minimum
    Size: 10-14 (25-35cm) inches can weigh up to 4+ pounds world record is 4 pounds 8ounces (6cm)
    Tank: 150 Gal Ideally 200+
    Strata: All
    PH: PH recommendation 6.0 to 7.5
    Hardness: Medium, 7.0 - 12.0 dGH (will adapt to a range of specifications.)
    Temperature: 58°F to 70°F (14°-20° C) can stand up to 75 for short times.
    Life Span: Up to 7 years, record life span 15 years.


    Order: Perciformes
    Family: Centrarchidae
    Genera: Poxmoxis
    Species: nigromaculatus

Common name:

    Black crappie , calico bass

Image gallery:
    Additional species photographs


    Badmans' Forum


    North America: widely introduced throughout USA that native range is difficult to determine; presumably Atlantic Slope from Virginia to Florida, Gulf Slope west to Texas in the USA, St. Lawrence-Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins from Quebec to Manitoba in Canada south to Gulf of Mexico.

General Body Form:

    Black Crappies are a monomorphic species characterized by 7-8 dorsal spines which are stepped in length, an upturned (S-Shaped) snout, symmetrical dorsal and anal fins, a wavy light and dark pattern on non-paired fins and a mottled(spotty) color pattern.


    There are color variances among the populations of black crappie,. Age, habitat, and breeding are all determinants of the intensity and patterns of mottling: juveniles tend to have less pigment and pattern the adults; those black crappies living in clear vegetated water have strikingly bolder patterns than those living in turbid, murky water, breeding males have a darker head and breast the normal populations.


    Favors clear, warm, highly vegetated water, sandy substrate with driftwood for hiding.

    As a juvie, eats macroscopic prey such as Cyclops, Cladocera, and Daphina, as an Adult, mid water omnivore that feeds in vegetation and open water. Its numerous gill rakes allow it to consume planktonic crustaceans, however aquatic insects, minnows, and fingerlings of other species comprise its main diet. Dawn, noon, dusk and midnight are peak times for black crappie feeding, eats all types of food forms year around.

    Inhabits lakes, ponds, sloughs, and backwaters and pools of streams. Usually occurs among vegetation over mud or sand, most common in clear water.


    Both sexes of black Crappie reach their sexual maturity by the age of two, spawning is between the months of April and June in nature. The Female is very fertile and bears 10,000-20,000 eggs (varies with size and age of female) once the eggs are in the nest it is the males responsibility to guard the nest, until the young can freely swim and feed

    None listed but as with all freshwater fish the usual

    Animal diversity Web
    NatureServe Explorer

Your comments:


Please remember that the following comments are personal experiences and may or may not apply to your setup. Use them as guide to help better understand your fish, like us all individuals will behave differently under different circumstances.








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