Crappie are a popular sportfish among angler and make great table fare. However, there are several things to consider when introducing Crappie into a lake or pond.
- Reproduction: Crappie will spawn about a month before largemouth bass. This can have a negative effect on reproduction of the bass, since the crappie has a head start. The juvenile crappie will put a major dent in the small forage, leaving the fingerling bass with less forage.
- Harvesting: Without strict harvesting, Crappie can quickly over populate to a stunted size of 4-6”.
- Forage: In order to maintain a balanced population of bass and crappie in a pond, there are several supplemental forage stocking options. Recommendations- Fathead Minnows, Golden Shiners, Threadfin Shad, Goldfish, and Bluegill.
- Management: Along with harvesting crappie, another management tactic is stocking Hybrid Striped Bass. Hybrids can help control the population of crappie by eating the reproductive size crappie, since they are typically both an open water fish.
However, there is a negative impact of stocking Crappie in a lake with other predators, such as Bass. Crappie and Bass will compete with each other for forage, which can result in a decline of health for the Bass population. The two species can coexist in a lake, but strict management practices, such as harvesting and supplemental forage stocking is needed.