Black Crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus)
Description: Non-native. Introduced in 1905. Head and
back heavily and irregularly spotted with black blotches on a silver-olive
background; Tail, dorsal and anal fins are spotted. Seven or eight spines
on dorsal fin. Body is compressed or flat. Length: 6 to 12 inches. Weight:
3 oz. to over 4 pounds. Location and Habitat: Black crappie are far
more abundant than white crappie and are found in most of Arizona's
major warmwater reservoirs. Black crappie (and White crappie) are attracted
to submerged brush and trees and generally travel in schools. Spawning
is often in open water, typically over mud, sand or gravel bottoms.
Males guard the nest, and young after the eggs hatch. Generally mature
in second or third year of life, rarely live more than 6 to 7 years.
Foods: Insect and plankton eaters until they reach four or five inches
switching to a fish diet. In Arizona, threadfin shad are their main
diet. Angling: Effective bait and lures are minnows, small jigs, silver
spoons, spinners and flies fished along shorelines around submerged
brush piles and fallen trees. Table Quality: The meat is white, fine
textured and tasty.