Crappie is a popular panfish found in fresh water. Why are they popular? They are fun to catch and taste delicious. They spawn very fast and so can be found in large numbers in freshwater. Adult crappie weighs up to about 1 to 2 pounds.
The main species of crappie are black and white. When black and white crappie are crossbred the resulting species is Hybrid crappie. The hybrid crappie does not reproduce as much as the normal black and white crappie.
Read also: Golden Crappie
What we know so far about Hybrid Crappie
The Process Of Crossbreeding
When you want to get hybrids, you do a crossbreed between the female white crappie and the male black nosed black crappie. This whole process is done in the laboratory where breeders mix the eggs of the female and the milt of the male. Thereafter they are incubated, resulting in black-nose hybrid crappie.
There are three types of hybrid crappie; however, the only way to distinguish each species is through genetic testing. Breeders can also distinguish between the three since they have prior knowledge of which species of crappie are being stocked.
Hybrid Crappie and Stocking
Crappies naturally spawn at a very fast rate, hence overpopulate and take over their environment. Hybrid crappie, on the other hand, can be controlled hence are much more suited for stocking.
When hybrid crappie is stocked in a pond and left to their own devices, they are capable of producing offspring, even though they would be less quality compared to their parents. This second-generation hybrid as we have seen do not reach the adult stage so they can spawn. In fact, their offspring rarely make it beyond their first year.
Hybrid populations are controlled when stocking them alongside the bass and bluegill which feed on their offspring. This way the hybrid crappie numbers are controlled since they cannot overpopulate. For this reason, they need to be restocked every so often.
Hybrid Crappie Vs Natural Crappie
As we have seen, Hybrid crappie has a black-nose trait. It is actually a black stripe running down their nose. This black stripe, however, does not indicate that a crappie is a hybrid. So when you are out buying hybrid crappie just remember that just because it has a black stripe on its nose does not make it hybrid crappie. It just happens that there’s a black nosed black crappie as well that has a black stripe running from the top of their dorsal fin, down their nose, and over their bottom lip.
Some say that hybrid crappie is actually bigger and grow faster than normal crappie. However, there is no evidence to support that claim, at least according to marine biologists and top producers of hybrid crappie.
When both the natural and hybrid crappie are subjected to the same conditions, they grow and reproduce at the same rate. The only exception reported is the hybrid crappie found in Kinkaid Lake, in Southern Illinois. They are way bigger than the normal black and white crappie – something that most experts still find mindboggling.