Flatfishes, sunfishes, and perchlike fishes

Black Crappie Black Crappie
Pomoxis nigromaculatus


To 16" (41 cm); 5 lbs (2.3 kg). Deep, strongly compressed, dorsal profile rounded; back greenish, sides silvery green with dark green to black scattered mottlings not forming bars, belly silvery, median fins yellowish green with dusky, wavy lines and white spots. Head long, concave near eye; mouth oblique, extends past middle of eye. Dorsal fins connected without notch, 7-8 spines; anal fin large, 6 spines. Lateral line complete, 36-44 scales.

Related Species

White Crappie (P. annularis) has more elongate body; 6 dorsal fin spines; occurs in same habitat in SE. Ontario and E. central United States. Widely introduced.


Quiet, warm, clear streams, ponds, lakes, and reservoirs.


Quebec, Ontario, and S. Manitoba; E. and central United States except Atlantic Coast streams from Maine to Virginia. Widely introduced.


This is a very popular sport and food fish, especially in the southern part of its range. It is generally less abundant than the White Crappie and less tolerant of silty and turbid waters. It feeds throughout the day and night, but is most active in the evening.