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Laterally compressed, with a similar appearance to black crappie, White crappies have vertical bars rather than scattered spots. These silvery fish usually have 5 or 6 spines in dorsal fin, whereas black have seven or more. Spawning males become dark and anglers frequently confuse them with black crappie.
White crappies are commonly found in warm, turbid lakes, reservoirs, and river backwaters. They are frequently seen schooling around submerged logs or submerged boulders. In the evening and early morning they tend to move out into open water to feed. Their temperature preference is the low 80’s. They have greater tolerance for increased alkalinity, and turbidity compared to other sunfish. But require good oxygen levels.
Spawning begins when temperatures reach the low 60’s Fahrenheit. Sexually maturing by the second or third year, crappies build nests in colonies around/in bushes or close to banks, in shallow water. Nests are shallow depression on hard clay bottoms or aquatic vegetation. Males guard the nests until the eggs hatch.
Young crappie feed on zooplankton and insect larvae during their first year of life. As they grow, small fish and aquatic insects are added to their diet. Crappie are especially active at sunrise, sunset and at night during the summer.