Crappies are fishes belonging to the genus, Pomoxis. They are species of the North American freshwater and of the family Centrarchidae. They are a very popular species.
The fish belongs to the sunfish family and is one of the tastiest freshwater fishes and it is one very interesting type of fish you can go fishing for. The crappie is not only native to the eastern United States, but also to Canada.
The reason they are also called “panfish” is because of the fact that they are not only thin, but also small –around 18 inches or even less, and are used for food –yum.
Crappies are not that easy to catch because they have a thin membrane surrounding their mouth, making it difficult to get attached to a hook. This is the reason they are also known as “Papermouth”.
Are crappies edible?
We hear people ask every now and then if they can eat crappie.
Yes, crappies are edible, in fact, they are very delicious. The white and black crappie fish are absolutely safe to be eaten. The fish is very rich in protein and fat content, including other important nutritional values, albeit smaller compared to many of the other panfish between 1 and 2lbs.
As a small species of sunfish, these crappies tend to feed mostly on insects and crustaceans. They may also feed on the offspring of most of their predatory fishes, for instance, the walleye. In spite of feeding on crustaceans, crappies do not feed on insects enough to be considered a risk to human health due to their possible containment of the insects.
This means that, like any other fish you prepare, you must cook crappies adequately when you want to eat them, to make sure it is safe and of course, tastes great.
Why is crappie usually not sold in stores?
Because of the love of crappies, many people wonder why these wonderful species are not sold in stores so they can be easily assessable. This has made many people believe the fish may be a dangerous species for human health, thereby warranting it being banned, hence their not being able to get crappies in stores.
If you take a look at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website, you will find crappies listed among the edible fishes for humans. This means that it is not a banned species. So why are these not sold in stores despite being approved to be eaten?
The simple answer is that Crappies are wild species, and it is illegal to harvest wild species and sell them to restaurants or stores for commercial sale. So if crappies are harvested or caught, it is illegal to sell it in stores or restaurants. This is probably because of contaminants present in unregulated water in which crappies live, which may have contaminated the fishes that are not under the control of man. This is a potential reason why wild species are not legal to be sold in stores.
One may wonder why these wild species are not raised in ponds. Well, it is allowed to buy broodstocks or fingerlings and raise them in ponds. But one of the possible reasons they are not being raised is probably because the stores or restaurants do not have the resource to raise them. So this is why crappies are not sold in stores.