Crappie are a popular wide bodied panfish. Reaching an average size of 1 to 2 pounds crappie are fun to catch and great to eat, however they are not very well suited to small ponds because of their tendency to overpopulate. To solve this problem J.M. Malone and Son, Inc. is offering HYBRID CRAPPIE. Hybrid crappie are the first generation cross between a black crappie and a white crappie. The resulting hybrid displays limited reproduction and increased growth.
Although Hybrid crappie are not sterile, they display limited recruitment (recruitment is a fancy term for young fish which make it to adult size and begin spawning). Early research indicates that hybrid crappie populations are 50% male and 50% female and if stocked in a pond by themselves they are capable of producing offspring. However, the offspring of hybrid crappie are inferior in terms of growth and are readily controlled (eaten) by bass and bluegill. Therefore, when stocking hybrid crappie in ponds with bass and bluegill very few if any baby crappie will survive, preventing overpopulation. In a ten year study conducted in Illinois, ponds stocked with hybrid crappie, bass and bluegill, the hybrid crappie were unable to maintain their population (no offspring made it to adult size and begin spawning).
The same research indicates and F1 Hybrid Crappie grow faster and weigh more than both black crappie and white crappie. We have seen 3 pound fish 6 years after stocking in a pond that has plenty of forage.
The Hybrid Crappie is new to pond stocking and there is still a great deal to learn about them. Stock 100 to 200 Hybrid Crappie per acre and be sure to stock bass and bluegill with them to control reproduction. Due to their limited reproduction Hybrid Crappie will need to be restocked periodically.
The Hybrid Crappie produced by J.M. Malone and Son, Inc. is the original cross between an Arkansas Black Nosed Black Crappie* male and a white crappie female resulting in a hybrid crappie with a black stripe running down its nose. This black stripe is not an indication that a crappie is a hybrid crappie. Therefore, be advised when purchasing hybrid crappie, just because it has a black stripe on its nose does not make it a hybrid crappie.
*The Arkansas Black Nosed Crappie is a strain of black crappie first described in the white river basin of Arkansas. The black nosed black crappie have a black stripe running from the top of their dorsal fin, down their nose and over their bottom lip. The most likely explanation for this black stripe is that it acts like the black paint football players wear under their eyes helping them to see better in certain habitats. The black stripe is the result of a recessive gene like the albino channel catfish.