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Large6er
10-06-2013, 11:24 PM
I have been curious about the life cycle of a crappie and I hope the biologist the crowd can fill us in with facts. So from hatch to a 12" crappie how long does the fish take to be table fare. And about how long has a 16" crappie been roaming the waters of our local lakes. I know the growth rate here in Ohio will be a little slower than the southern states but I'm sure there is a ball park time frame.

I guess when you work third shift sometimes you think about crazy things like this.

Large6er

CrappiePappy
10-07-2013, 01:38 AM
I have been curious about the life cycle of a crappie and I hope the biologist the crowd can fill us in with facts. So from hatch to a 12" crappie how long does the fish take to be table fare. And about how long has a 16" crappie been roaming the waters of our local lakes. I know the growth rate here in Ohio will be a little slower than the southern states but I'm sure there is a ball park time frame.

I guess when you work third shift sometimes you think about crazy things like this.

Large6er

I worked 3rd shift for over 30yrs, so I know where you're coming from :Rofl (and it's probably the reason I'm still up at this hour, answering your question :Doh: )

You're right ... the northern Crappie grow slower, but live longer (on average) than their Southern cousins. The lake they happen to be born into has a lot to do with how fast they get big, & how big they get (in numbers). I don't know if it's a median statistic or not, but I've always heard that it takes about 3 yrs for a Crappie to reach 10", and Crappie have a average lifespan of around 6 years. (but, that may just be a Ky statistic)

It also makes a difference whether you're talking about Black Crappie or White Crappie ... as their lengths differ, even when the same age, due to their inherent body shape. White Crappie (where present) tend to gain length faster than Black Crappie.

I'm no biologist, and certainly no expert on anything ... so consider that when taking my opinion on these facts.

... cp :kewl

bee
10-07-2013, 05:26 AM
I caught a 17 in. last year and person who mounted it removed the ear bone. I took it and some scales to a Bio and he said it was about 5 years old. He also said in our waters they can be as old as 10 or more.

yankee doodler
10-07-2013, 05:47 AM
They live longer in them clean, clear Maine waters, eh Bee?!!!

river scum
10-07-2013, 07:26 AM
years ago, in an infisherman article, they quoted a study. the study showed the oldest crappie on record at 22yrs from skinner lake indiana!

crappie1133
10-07-2013, 09:40 AM
Large6er- I think B&M makes a crappie checker that measures the length and gives the approx. weight. The far right side gives the approx. age. I think you can buy them from places like Grizzly Jig Company. May not be 100%, but close.....crappie1133

M R Dux
10-07-2013, 09:53 AM
The 1st fish I took in for a customer when I started my taxidermy business was a black crappie that was caught in an impoundment near here. It weighed 4 pounds even and was 20.75 inches long. When the customer told me he had a 21 inch crappie, I said "BS! there's no such thing as a 21 inch crappie". I guess I was wrong. I've talked to several wildlife professionals about that fish and to a person, they told me it would have never lived to be that size had it been in KY or Barkley Lakes. They said it would have eaten itself to death before it would have reached those proportions. BTW, it was so skinny you could see light thru it.

I have no idea how old that fish was but its size was a direct result of it living in a closed environment where it probably had to work much harder to survive but it lived much longer because of it.

Team9nine
10-07-2013, 08:29 PM
Around here (central Indiana), a whole lot of crappie live their entire life and never make it to 16". From the surveys I've read, a fast growing fish will usually make it to 10" at 3 years old and 12" by age 5. Don't recall ever seeing any 16" fish removed and aged by IDNR, but I have seen several 15"-15.5" fish that aged between 8-10 years old. These data were for white crappie.

-T9

Large6er
10-07-2013, 10:29 PM
This is some great info, and what makes it great is the range of states it covers. From what I am hearing the 3 year old crappie becomes a keeper in about all regions. It also sounds like the crappie get bigger but have shorter life spans in the south as where they live longer but a little smaller in the north. Then Maine screws up the whole theory with the pictures we see post of the 16 -18 inchers. I wonder the age of those slabs.

Keep the info coming

Crappitier
10-07-2013, 10:56 PM
Here in PA a 10" keeper size crappie (white or black) is about 3 years old. They seem to be a pretty fast growing fish when they have deep water and a lot of food.

A 12"er about 4 years old. They seem to peak around 15" here in PA, maybe 5 or 6 years old.

bee
10-08-2013, 05:23 AM
Here is the fish I posted about. 138900138901138902

Large6er
10-08-2013, 10:44 PM
Wow that's an amazing fish. Was that a lake or pond produced fish

bee
10-09-2013, 11:32 AM
Wow that's an amazing fish. Was that a lake or pond produced fish

That was from a lake.

Knot2Bad
10-09-2013, 12:29 PM
This was a Google search I found from the Dept Fish and Game in South Carolina. I am sure there are others. It doesn't cover all states water types but I would guess the differences are not significantly different.

http://ncpedia.org/wildlife/black-crappie-and-white-crappie

SCDNR - Fish - Species - White crappie (http://www.dnr.sc.gov/fish/species/whitecrappie.html)

Bronson
10-09-2013, 07:59 PM
It varies from state to state and even in groups of fish. Is there plenty of food and are fish stressed could make a difference too.

I talked to a fisheries biologist this summer who said they had stocked crappie in Kentucky Lake the last few years. I asked him this same question and expected him to say it took 3 years for a crappie to reach 10 inches in Kentucky, which is generally true. I was shocked (still hard to believe) when he said they had found one fish that reached 10 inches the first year. Several made it to 2" their 2nd year and most by the 3rd year.
I'm not saying it was or wasn't but that's what he said. He said he could tell because all the fish put out were marked for their study. Never heard of that before and still have a hard time believing it.

If I was a betting man, I still wouldn't put a nickel on it. Then again, maybe he was a fisherman too and couldn't help but lie about it!

Large6er
10-09-2013, 10:36 PM
I went to the web page that Knot gave us and I found it interesting, the one thing that stood out to me was that you need to harvest crappie so they don't over populate a pond or lake and become stunted. Count me in to do my part to avoid stunted crappie.

CrappiePappy
10-10-2013, 12:08 AM
It varies from state to state and even in groups of fish. Is there plenty of food and are fish stressed could make a difference too.

I talked to a fisheries biologist this summer who said they had stocked crappie in Kentucky Lake the last few years. I asked him this same question and expected him to say it took 3 years for a crappie to reach 10 inches in Kentucky, which is generally true. I was shocked (still hard to believe) when he said they had found one fish that reached 10 inches the first year. Several made it to 2" their 2nd year and most by the 3rd year.
I'm not saying it was or wasn't but that's what he said. He said he could tell because all the fish put out were marked for their study. Never heard of that before and still have a hard time believing it.

If I was a betting man, I still wouldn't put a nickel on it. Then again, maybe he was a fisherman too and couldn't help but lie about it!

The KDFWR has been stocking Blood River since 2009. Stocked fish have been chemically treated with OTC ... which can be detected in the otoliths of the fish. The stocked fish have all been White Crappie.
Paul Rister, KDFWR Biologist for the KY/Barkley lakes region, is a site member. Here's a thread concerning the survey/study : http://www.crappie.com/crappie/kentucky/229205-who-needs-reason-fish-blood-river-november-3rd.html

... cp :kewl

Large6er
10-10-2013, 10:18 PM
Crappiepappy that was a great read and very interesting and the good news from that study is that the natural inhabitant crappie are reproducing in the lake to increase the numbers rather than the stocked fish. that will be a huge money saver for the state and its fishermen. Good job Ky on making Barkley a top quality fishing habitat.

CrappiePappy
10-11-2013, 02:14 AM
Crappiepappy that was a great read and very interesting and the good news from that study is that the natural inhabitant crappie are reproducing in the lake to increase the numbers rather than the stocked fish. that will be a huge money saver for the state and its fishermen. Good job Ky on making Barkley a top quality fishing habitat.

Actually L6'r ... Blood River is on KY Lake, not Barkley. But, yes ... I agree that seeing the resurgence of White Crappie numbers is a good thing for the lakes. I do think, however, that the stocking program may need to continue. The harvest rates are high, the Asian Carp infestation could be detrimental, and you never know what new problem may arise.

Even Weiss Lake, Ala. gets around 80,000- 100,000 Crappie stocked in it, each year. They even started stocking with Blacknose Black Crappie, a few years ago, so they wouldn't have to do the chemical tagging research ... and could study the harvest by sight identification of fish in the creel checks (& probably in the netting studies). Reports of previous year stockings indicate that 3" Crappie were stocked, and expected to reach the 10" minimum length in 2-3 years. That indicates to me that one would have to go a bit further South, in order to get a 10" average fish growth in less than 3yrs.

... cp :kewl

Large6er
10-12-2013, 08:11 PM
It's funny you mentioned the Asian carp because I was watching a you tube video of a couple young guys on KY lake and they were showing those dang things flying all over. I had no idea they were so bad down there. Is the State doing anything to control the population of those things.

Knot2Bad
10-12-2013, 08:31 PM
Pappy is the problem with the Carp the fact that they eat algae or is it something else? I read where the Crappie as feed on algae in their early development.

CrappiePappy
10-12-2013, 09:34 PM
Large6er .... unfortunately yes, the Asian Carp are really bad there. They have a couple of processing plants in the area, and commercial fishermen are netting them by the tons and taking them to those plants. They're being processed into animal food, fertilizer, and flash frozen for shipment to countries like China. China's waters are so polluted, and their people love the carps so much, that they'd rather have ours.

Knot2Bad ... yes, they are filter feeders and eat mostly plankton. They're prolific breeders, and are capable of several spawns a year. Plus they grow pretty fast, and get too big to be preyed upon by any of the predator fish. Beyond their tendency to jump at the sound of a outboard motor possibly causing injury, even though only one of the two species does it, they consume large quantities of the plankton (as they're pretty much eating all the time). That plankton is the bottom of the food chain for both Crappie and the Shad species that Crappie eventually feed on. And Ky Lake & Barkley Lake being fertile lowland lakes, makes the plankton biomass a huge feeding ground for filter feeders like the Asian Carp.

Unfortunately, the Asian Carp are there & already well established ... and there's no current method of eradication known. My fear is that all the efforts to control their numbers & keep people from accidently transporting them to lakes not connected to the major rivers, are futile ... too little, too late.

... cp :kewl

Knot2Bad
10-12-2013, 10:39 PM
Thanks for the info. Your right once here eradication is near impossible. In Portola California some smart person brought some Norther Pike and put them in Davis Lake. It was a nightmare to correct and the cost were beyond imagination. They were worried the the spread would continue to other Pike free waters. Here a link on it. Sounds like they think they are successful but they had to poison the entire lake and kill everything with chemicals. Their first attempt was not successful. Sounds like they might have done it. Time will tell but it will take years for the system to recover.

The Fisheries Blog: Eliminating an Invasive Predator: Lessons From Lake Davis Pike (http://www.thefisheriesblog.com/2012/05/eliminating-invasive-predator-lessons.html)

Wonder if something like this is in our future. I wish people would stop using short sighted thinking and think they know so much because of having lived or fished or seen something somewhere and then try to do their magic which always has repercussions that are irreversible. We see it everywhere and not only in the water but on land too.