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Black Crappie

Black crappie, one of the various “panfish” species are highly favored by anglers due to their ease of catch and delightful taste. These fish are easily distinguishable by their distinctive features, such as large rounded dorsal and anal fins and a deep, yet narrow body that imparts a flattened “pancake” appearance. In Washington, black crappie outnumber their closely related counterpart, the white crappie.

Black crappie are characterized by seven or eight dorsal spines and dark, irregularly spaced blotches covering their sides. In contrast, white crappies possess five or six dorsal spines, often exhibiting dark vertical bars, and their dorsal fin’s base is shorter compared to that of the black crappie. Additionally, white crappies lack the abundance of spots on their sides that are a notable feature of black crappies.

Typically averaging between 7-9 inches, crappies have the potential to grow even larger, reaching lengths of 9-15 inches in areas with thriving populations.