Silvery with a dark back and green or blackish mottling on the sides with 7-8 spines in the dorsal fin; most of those caught by anglers are 8-12 inches in length.
Statewide; rare in western Iowa. Found in clearer lakes and streams.
Small fish, aquatic insects and their larvae.
3 lbs, 14 oz, 18 in. - Three Mile Lake, Union County, 6/5/2013 - Dale Klein, Omaha, Nebraska.
Fish in brushy areas, if you aren't getting snagged often, you aren't fishing where the fish are!
The black crappie is a silverly-speckled, deep-bodied, slab-sided sunfish and has a large mouth. The upper jaw reaches well past the middle of the eye when the mouth is closed. It usually has a dark back with numerous green or blackish spots irregularly spaced over the sides. There are no distinct vertical bars as in white crappie. The body is somewhat deeper in proportion to its length, and the dorsal, tail, and anal fins are strongly reticulated with black giving the appearance of a dark-colored fin with many whitish spots. The spiny dorsal and soft dorsal fins are broadly connected without being notched. The anal fin is nearly as long and as large as the dorsal fin and has 6 spines. The dorsal fin has 7 or 8 dorsal spines, and the length of dorsal fin base is equal to the distance from the eye to the front of the dorsal fin.
Spawning requirements for black crappie are nearly the same as those of white crappie, but the nest size is slightly more shallow. The nest is usually constructed in 3 to 8 feet of water. Black crappie spawn at water temperatures of 58 to 64 degrees F. Fecundity of female black crappie may range up to 150,000 eggs, but 20,000 to 60,000 eggs are more the rule. Nests of both crappie species usually contain similar-sized egg masses.