Crappie
Overview
 
Crappie is a genus
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 of freshwater
Freshwater
Fresh water is naturally occurring water on the Earth's surface in ice sheets, ice caps, glaciers, bogs, ponds, lakes, rivers and streams, and underground as groundwater in aquifers and underground streams. Fresh water is generally characterized by having low concentrations of dissolved salts and...

 fish
Fish
Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...

 in the sunfish family
Family (biology)
In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...

 (family Centrarchidae
Centrarchidae
The sunfishes are a family of freshwater ray-finned fish belonging to the order Perciformes. The type genus is Centrarchus . The family's 27 species includes many fishes familiar to North Americans, including the rock bass, largemouth bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed, and crappies...

) of order
Order (biology)
In scientific classification used in biology, the order is# a taxonomic rank used in the classification of organisms. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, family, genus, and species, with order fitting in between class and family...

 Perciformes
Perciformes
The Perciformes, also called the Percomorphi or Acanthopteri, is one of the largest orders of vertebrates, containing about 40% of all bony fish. Perciformes means perch-like. They belong to the class of ray-finned fish and comprise over 7,000 species found in almost all aquatic environments...

. The type species
Type species
In biological nomenclature, a type species is both a concept and a practical system which is used in the classification and nomenclature of animals and plants. The value of a "type species" lies in the fact that it makes clear what is meant by a particular genus name. A type species is the species...

 is P. annularis, the white crappie. The common name crappie (icon or ˈ)
refers to either of the Pomoxis species, both of which are popular game fish
Game fish
Game fish are fish pursued for sport by recreational anglers. They can be freshwater or marine fish. Game fish can be eaten after being caught, though increasingly anglers practise catch and release to improve fish populations. Some game fish are also targeted commercially, particularly...

.

Both species of crappie as adults feed predominantly on smaller species, including the young of their own predators (which include the northern pike
Northern Pike
The northern pike , is a species of carnivorous fish of the genus Esox...

, muskellunge
Muskellunge
A muskellunge , also known as a muskelunge, muscallonge, milliganong, or maskinonge , is a large, relatively uncommon freshwater fish of North America. Muskellunge are the largest member of the pike family, Esocidae...

, and walleye
Walleye
Walleye is a freshwater perciform fish native to most of Canada and to the northern United States. It is a North American close relative of the European pikeperch...

).
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
Crappie is a genus
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 of freshwater
Freshwater
Fresh water is naturally occurring water on the Earth's surface in ice sheets, ice caps, glaciers, bogs, ponds, lakes, rivers and streams, and underground as groundwater in aquifers and underground streams. Fresh water is generally characterized by having low concentrations of dissolved salts and...

 fish
Fish
Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...

 in the sunfish family
Family (biology)
In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...

 (family Centrarchidae
Centrarchidae
The sunfishes are a family of freshwater ray-finned fish belonging to the order Perciformes. The type genus is Centrarchus . The family's 27 species includes many fishes familiar to North Americans, including the rock bass, largemouth bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed, and crappies...

) of order
Order (biology)
In scientific classification used in biology, the order is# a taxonomic rank used in the classification of organisms. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, family, genus, and species, with order fitting in between class and family...

 Perciformes
Perciformes
The Perciformes, also called the Percomorphi or Acanthopteri, is one of the largest orders of vertebrates, containing about 40% of all bony fish. Perciformes means perch-like. They belong to the class of ray-finned fish and comprise over 7,000 species found in almost all aquatic environments...

. The type species
Type species
In biological nomenclature, a type species is both a concept and a practical system which is used in the classification and nomenclature of animals and plants. The value of a "type species" lies in the fact that it makes clear what is meant by a particular genus name. A type species is the species...

 is P. annularis, the white crappie. The common name crappie (icon or ˈ)
refers to either of the Pomoxis species, both of which are popular game fish
Game fish
Game fish are fish pursued for sport by recreational anglers. They can be freshwater or marine fish. Game fish can be eaten after being caught, though increasingly anglers practise catch and release to improve fish populations. Some game fish are also targeted commercially, particularly...

.

Both species of crappie as adults feed predominantly on smaller species, including the young of their own predators (which include the northern pike
Northern Pike
The northern pike , is a species of carnivorous fish of the genus Esox...

, muskellunge
Muskellunge
A muskellunge , also known as a muskelunge, muscallonge, milliganong, or maskinonge , is a large, relatively uncommon freshwater fish of North America. Muskellunge are the largest member of the pike family, Esocidae...

, and walleye
Walleye
Walleye is a freshwater perciform fish native to most of Canada and to the northern United States. It is a North American close relative of the European pikeperch...

). They have diverse diets, however, including zooplankton
Zooplankton
Zooplankton are heterotrophic plankton. Plankton are organisms drifting in oceans, seas, and bodies of fresh water. The word "zooplankton" is derived from the Greek zoon , meaning "animal", and , meaning "wanderer" or "drifter"...

, insect
Insect
Insects are a class of living creatures within the arthropods that have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body , three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes, and two antennae...

s, and crustacean
Crustacean
Crustaceans form a very large group of arthropods, usually treated as a subphylum, which includes such familiar animals as crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimp, krill and barnacles. The 50,000 described species range in size from Stygotantulus stocki at , to the Japanese spider crab with a leg span...

s. By day, crappie tend to be less active and to concentrate around weed beds or submerged objects, such as logs and boulders; they feed especially at dawn and dusk, moving then into open water or approaching the shore.

The Pomoxis species are highly regarded game fishes and are often considered to be among the best tasting freshwater fish. Because of their diverse diets, crappie may be caught in many ways, including casting
Casting (fishing)
In angling, casting is the act of throwing bait or a lure using a fishing line out over the water using a flexible fishing rod. The usual technique is for the angler to quickly flick the rod from behind toward the water...

 light jig
Jig (fishing)
Jigging is the practice of fishing with a jig, a type of fishing lure. A jig consists of a lead sinker with a hook molded into it and usually covered by a soft body to attract fish. Jigs are intended to create a jerky, vertical motion, as opposed to spinnerbaits which move through the water...

s, trolling with minnow
Minnow
Minnow is a general term used to refer to small freshwater and saltwater fish, especially those used as bait fish or for fishing bait. More specifically, it refers to small freshwater fish of the carp family.-True minnows:...

s or artificial lures, using small spinnerbait
Spinnerbait
A Spinnerbait refers to any one of a family of fishing lures that get their name from one or more metal blades shaped so as to spin like a propeller when the lure is in motion, creating varying degrees of flash and vibration that mimics small fish or other prey...

s, or using bobbers. Crappie are also popular with ice-fishers
Ice fishing
Ice fishing is the practice of catching fish with lines and fish hooks or spears through an opening in the ice on a frozen body of water. Ice anglers may sit on the stool in the open on a frozen lake, or in a heated cabin on the ice, some with bunks and amenities.-Locations:It is a popular pastime...

, as they are active in winter. name="natureserve_white" />

The genus name Pomoxis derives from the Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 πώμα (cover, plug, operculum
Operculum (fish)
The operculum of a bony fish is the hard bony flap covering and protecting the gills. In most fish, the rear edge of the operculum roughly marks the division between the head and the body....

) and οξύς (sharp). The common name (also spelled croppie or crappé), derives from the Canadian French
Canadian French
Canadian French is an umbrella term referring to the varieties of French spoken in Canada. French is the mother tongue of nearly seven million Canadians, a figure constituting roughly 22% of the national population. At the federal level it has co-official status alongside English...

 crapet, which refers to many different fishes of the family Centrarchidae. Note that the plural form of the name, crappies, tends not to be used, by analogy with fishes, except to refer to types of crappie. Other names for crappie are papermouths, strawberry bass, speckled bass or specks (especially in Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

), speckled perch, calico bass (throughout New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

), sac-au-lait (in southern Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

, lit "bag of milk") and Oswego bass.

Black crappie

The black crappie, Pomoxis nigromaculatus (Lesueur, 1829), is very similar to P. annularis in size, shape, and habits, except that it is darker, with a pattern of black spots. It is most accurately identified by the seven or eight spines on its dorsal fin
Dorsal fin
A dorsal fin is a fin located on the backs of various unrelated marine and freshwater vertebrates, including most fishes, marine mammals , and the ichthyosaurs...

. The oldest recorded age of a specimen is fifteen years, although seven years is a more typical life span for the species.

The black crappie's range is uncertain, since it has been widely transplanted, but it is presumed to be similar to the white crappie's. Its native range is in the eastern United States and Canada, and as of 2005, populations existed in all of the 48 contiguous U.S. states
Contiguous United States
The contiguous United States are the 48 U.S. states on the continent of North America that are south of Canada and north of Mexico, plus the District of Columbia....

. The black crappie habitat occurs in lakes, reservoirs, borrow pits and navigation pools in large rivers. They prefer areas with little or no current, clear water, and abundant cover such as submerged timber or aquatic vegetation.

The black crappie tends to prefer clearer water than the white crappie does. Its diet, as an adult, also tends to be less dominated by other fish than that of the white crappie.

The breeding season varies by location, due to the species’ great range; breeding temperature is 14‒20 °C (58‒68 °F) and spawning occurs between April and June. Spawning occurs in a nest built by the male, who guards the eggs and young.

Like P. annularis, P. nigromaculatus is very prolific and can tend to overpopulate its environment, with negative consequences both for the crappie and for other fish species. A commercial supplier of the fish, however, claims that it can be safely stocked in ponds as small as one acre (0.4 ha) in area.

Crappie angling

Angling
Angling
Angling is a method of fishing by means of an "angle" . The hook is usually attached to a fishing line and the line is often attached to a fishing rod. Fishing rods are usually fitted with a fishing reel that functions as a mechanism for storing, retrieving and paying out the line. The hook itself...

 for Crappie is popular throughout much of North America. Methods vary, but among the most popular is called "Spider Rigging," a method characterized by a fisherman in a boat with many long fishing rod
Fishing rod
A fishing rod or a fishing pole is a tool used to catch fish, usually in conjunction with the pastime of angling, and can also be used in competition casting. . A length of fishing line is attached to a long, flexible rod or pole: one end terminates in a hook for catching the fish...

s pointing away from the angler at various angles like spokes from a wheel. Anglers who employ the Spider Rigging method may choose from among many popular baits. Some of the most popular are plastic jigs with lead jig heads, crankbaits or live minnow
Minnow
Minnow is a general term used to refer to small freshwater and saltwater fish, especially those used as bait fish or for fishing bait. More specifically, it refers to small freshwater fish of the carp family.-True minnows:...

s. Many anglers also chum or dump live bait into the water to attract the fish hoping the fish will bite their bait. Crappie are also regularly targeted and caught during the spawning period by fly fishermen
Fly fishing
Fly fishing is an angling method in which an artificial 'fly' is used to catch fish. The fly is cast using a fly rod, reel, and specialized weighted line. Casting a nearly weightless fly or 'lure' requires casting techniques significantly different from other forms of casting...

, and can be taken from frozen ponds and lakes in winter by ice fishing
Ice fishing
Ice fishing is the practice of catching fish with lines and fish hooks or spears through an opening in the ice on a frozen body of water. Ice anglers may sit on the stool in the open on a frozen lake, or in a heated cabin on the ice, some with bunks and amenities.-Locations:It is a popular pastime...

.

Commercial fishing

A commercial fishery for crappie exists at Reelfoot Lake
Reelfoot Lake
Reelfoot Lake is a shallow natural lake located in the northwest portion of Tennessee, United States of America. Much of it is really more of a swamp, with bayou-like ditches connecting more open bodies of water called basins, the largest of which is called Blue Basin. Reelfoot Lake is noted for...

in Tennessee. It is one of the few commercial fisheries for crappie.

External links

  • Crappie.com - Crappie fishing information with forums for many states, dedicated to the Crappie fisherman, and Crappie habitat.
  • Crappie.net - Information portal dedicated to solely crappie fishing
  • Crappie Fishing Videos - Collection of crappie fishing videos.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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