Iowa DNR
River & Stream Biological Monitoring
Fish and Benthic Macroinvertebrate Surveys
Physical Habitat Assessments

Black Crappie Pomoxis nigromaculatus

Centrarchidae (Sunfishes)
Trophic Class
Top Carnivore
Is Exotic to Iowa?
Is Lithophilous Spawner?
Is Hybrid?
State Listing Status
Not Listed
Assessment Program Statistics

This species was found at 69 bioassessment sites, 1 rapid fish bioassessment site, 64 fisheries assessment sites, and 0 fisheries presence-only assessment sites. In total, it was collected at 134 distinct sites, or 9.1% of the 1473 total sites monitored by the bioassessment program. It is the 47th most commonly collected species.

The Black Crappie was collected in 84 bioassessment sampling sessions and 159 fisheries assessment sessions. It was present in 1 rapid bioassessment session and 0 presence-only sessions.

The biological assessment program has collected a total of 1,485 individual Black Crappie specimens, ranking it the #59 most collected fish.

Species Characteristics

A silvery-speckled, deep-bodied, slab-sided sunfish with a large mouth. The upper jaw reaches past the middle of the eye when the mouth is closed. It usually has a dark back with many green or blackish spots unevenly spaced over the sides. There are no distinct vertical bars as in White Crappie. Its body is somewhat deeper in proportion to its length, and the dorsal, tail, and anal fins are strongly netted with black making it look like a dark-colored fin with many whitish spots. The spiny dorsal and soft dorsal fins are broadly connected without being notched. The anal fin is nearly as long and as large as the dorsal fin and has 6 spines. The dorsal fin has 7 or 8 dorsal spines, and the length of the dorsal fin base is equal to the distance from the eye to the front of the dorsal fin.

Species Distribution Maps

HUC12 watersheds where this species has been found