White crappie (Pomoxis)
The sides of the white crappie are silvery olive, blending into an olive green on the back. They have black spots on their sides that form eight or nine vertical bars, unlike the black crappie, whose black spots do not form into a pattern. Spots also cover the tail, dorsal, and anal fins. Their bodies have flat sides, making the crappie capable of quick movements
Most feeding takes place at night, dawn, and dusk. The majority of the adult white crappie's diet is fish. They also eat mollusks, crayfish, and plankton. The young white crappie subsist mainly on aquatic insects.
White crappie are native to a large area of North America, from Nebraska and Lake Ontario in the north to Texas and Alabama in the south. They have also been successfully transplanted to every one of the 48 states in the continental United States.
White crappie are found in warm bodies of water, the ideal temperature being between 60 and 68 F. They do not require clear, clean water like black crappies but can thrive in muddy environments such as ponds, sloughs, ditches and lakes. They are particularly successful in larger bodies of water, sometimes schooling in water as deep as sixty feet during the day.
They are most commonly found in protective cover such as fallen trees, vegetation or boat docks.
When crappie reside in rivers or streams, they find the deeper pools to avoid being in areas with a strong current.
- White crappie are often in competition with walleye because they have similar survival habits, such as feeding on the same food sources at approximately the same time of day or night.
- White crappie are often confused with their close cousin the black crappie, with which they can hybridize.