The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Pomoxis annularis
Pomoxis annularis
(White Crappie)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Pomoxis annularis Rafinesque, 1818

Common name: White Crappie

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: White crappie, Pomoxis annularis, have deep laterally compressed bodies which are iridescent olive green in color on the back and silvery white on the sides. The sides will also have 10 or fewer indistinct dark vertical bars. The head is small with a sharp depression in the profile above their eyes and the mouth appears to project because it is large and oblique. The dorsal and anal fins are large and round with 5-6 spines. Dorsal fins have 13-15 rays and anal fins have 17-18 rays. In the pelvic fins there is 1 spine and 5 rays and in rounded pectoral fins 15 rays. Dorsal, anal, and caudal fins are checkered with dark spots. The lateral line of White crappie is arched with 38-45 scales. Breeding males are very dark with the head and breast becoming nearly black (Moyle 1976).

Size: 53 cm.

Native Range: Southern Great Lakes, Hudson Bay (Red River), and Mississippi River basins from New York and southern Ontario west to Minnesota and South Dakota, and south to the Gulf; Gulf Slope drainages from Mobile Bay, Georgia and Alabama, to the Neuces River, Texas (Page and Burr 1991).

Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe NS logo
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Pomoxis annularis are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
AL1976201510Apalachicola Basin; Choctawhatchee-Escambia; Escambia; Lower Choctawhatchee; Lower Conecuh; Middle Chattahoochee-Walter F; Pea; Upper Choctawhatchee; Upper Conecuh; Yellow
AZ1924201711Agua Fria; Havasu-Mohave Lakes; Lower Colorado Region; Lower Lake Powell; Moenkopi Wash; Tonto; Upper Gila-San Carlos Reservoir; Upper Little Colorado; Upper Salt; Upper San Pedro; Upper Santa Cruz
CA1891200284Aliso-San Onofre; Antelope-Fremont Valleys; Applegate; Big Chico Creek-Sacramento River; Big-Navarro-Garcia; Butte Creek; California; California Region; Calleguas; Carrizo Plain; Central Coastal; Clear Creek-Sacramento River; Cottonwood Creek; Cottonwood-Tijuana; Coyote; Cuyama; Estrella; Fresno River; Havasu-Mohave Lakes; Honcut Headwaters-Lower Feather; Honey-Eagle Lakes; Illinois; Imperial Reservoir; Los Angeles; Lower American; Lower Colorado; Lower Colorado; Lower Eel; Lower Sacramento; Lower Sacramento; Lower San Joaquin River; Middle Fork Eel; Middle Kern-Upper Tehachapi-Grapevine; Middle San Joaquin-Lower Chowchilla; Monterey Bay; Newport Bay; Pajaro; Panoche-San Luis Reservoir; Paynes Creek-Sacramento River; Sacramento-Stone Corral; Salinas; San Antonio; San Diego; San Francisco Bay; San Francisco Coastal South; San Gabriel; San Jacinto; San Joaquin; San Joaquin Delta; San Luis Rey-Escondido; San Pablo Bay; Santa Ana; Santa Barbara Coastal; Santa Clara; Santa Margarita; Santa Maria; Santa Monica Bay; Santa Ynez; Seal Beach; South Fork Eel; South Fork Kern; South Fork Trinity; Suisun Bay; Thomes Creek-Sacramento River; Tomales-Drake Bays; Trinity; Tulare Lake Bed; Tulare-Buena Vista Lakes; Upper Bear; Upper Cache; Upper Calaveras California; Upper Cosumnes; Upper Dry; Upper Eel; Upper Kaweah; Upper King; Upper Klamath; Upper Mokelumne; Upper Poso; Upper Putah; Upper Stony; Upper Tule; Upper Yuba; Ventura
CO1882200913Beaver; Big Sandy; Lower South Platte; Middle South Platte-Cherry Creek; Middle South Platte-Sterling; Piedra; South Platte; St. Vrain; Upper Arkansas; Upper Arkansas-John Martin Reservoir; Upper Arkansas-Lake Meredith; Upper Gunnison; Upper San Juan
CT198620162Outlet Connecticut River; Quinnipiac
DE198020074Brandywine-Christina; Broadkill-Smyrna; Delaware Bay; Upper Chesapeake
FL195920158Apalachicola; Escambia; Lower Choctawhatchee; Lower Ochlockonee; Lower Suwannee; Ochlockonee; Perdido Bay; Yellow
GA1971201610Altamaha; Apalachicola Basin; Conasauga; Little; Lower Savannah; Middle Chattahoochee-Lake Harding; Middle Flint; Savannah; Upper Flint; Upper Ocmulgee
ID1892200912Bear Lake; Brownlee Reservoir; C.J. Strike Reservoir; Curlew Valley; Lower Boise; Middle Bear; Pacific Northwest Region; Payette; Pend Oreille Lake; Upper Snake-Rock; Upper Spokane; Weiser
KS1914201214Buckner; Coon-Pickerel; Cow; Little Arkansas; Lower Smoky Hill; Middle Arkansas; North Fork Smoky Hill; Pawnee; Republican; Smoky Hill; Upper Cimarron; Upper Cimarron-Bluff; Upper North Fork Solomon; Upper Walnut Creek
KY196519863Rockcastle; Upper Cumberland; Upper Cumberland-Lake Cumberland
MD194920219Chester-Sassafras; Conococheague-Opequon; Gunpowder-Patapsco; Lower Susquehanna; Middle Potomac-Catoctin; Monocacy; Patuxent; Potomac; Upper Chesapeake
MA199220051Ashuelot River-Connecticut River
MI194119411Lone Lake-Ocqueoc
MN195819824Prairie-Willow; Red; Sandhill-Wilson; Upper Red
MT1948201124Beaver; Beaver; Big Horn Lake; Bullwhacker-Dog; Charlie-Little Muddy; Fort Peck Reservoir; Lower Milk; Lower Powder; Lower Tongue; Lower Yellowstone; Lower Yellowstone-Sunday; Middle Clark Fork; Poplar; Prairie Elk-Wolf; Redwater; Rosebud; Sage; Upper Little Missouri; Upper Milk; Upper Missouri-Dearborn; Upper Tongue; Upper Yellowstone-Lake Basin; Upper Yellowstone-Pompeys Pillar; Whitewater
NE1970200022Arikaree; Calamus; Cedar; Frenchman; Harlan County Reservoir; Lower Lodgepole; Lower Middle Loup; Lower Niobrara; Lower North Loup; Lower North Platte; Medicine; Middle Niobrara; Middle North Platte-Scotts Bluff; Niobrara Headwaters; North Fork Elkhorn; Red Willow; Snake; Upper Elkhorn; Upper Niobrara; Upper Republican; Upper White; West Fork Big Blue
NV1955200110Carson Desert; Central Lahontan; Havasu-Mohave Lakes; Lake Mead; Lower Humboldt; Meadow Valley Wash; Middle Carson; Thousand-Virgin; Truckee; White
NJ190519947Cohansey-Maurice; Crosswicks-Neshaminy; Hackensack-Passaic; Lower Delaware; Mid-Atlantic Region; Middle Delaware-Musconetcong; Raritan
NM1982199121Caballo; Conchas; El Paso-Las Cruces; Elephant Butte Reservoir; Mimbres; Pecos Headwaters; Revuelto; Rio Chama; Rio Grande-Albuquerque; Rio Grande-Santa Fe; Upper Canadian; Upper Canadian; Upper Canadian-Ute Reservoir; Upper Gila-Mangas; Upper Pecos; Upper Pecos; Upper Pecos-Black; Upper Pecos-Long Arroyo; Upper San Juan; Upper San Juan; Zuni
NY1886199810Chenango; Hudson-Wappinger; Lake Champlain; Lower Hudson; Middle Hudson; Mohawk; Oneida; Owego-Wappasening; Schoharie; Seneca
NC1948201927Albemarle; Cape Fear; Chowan; Contentnea; Deep; Haw; Lower Cape Fear; Lower Dan; Lower Tar; Lower Yadkin; Middle Neuse; Middle Roanoke; Neuse; Pamlico; Roanoke; Roanoke Rapids; Rocky; South Yadkin; Upper Broad; Upper Cape Fear; Upper Catawba; Upper Dan; Upper Neuse; Upper Pee Dee; Upper Pee Dee; Upper Yadkin; Waccamaw
ND198020058Elm-Marsh; Lake Sakakawea; Lower Sheyenne; Maple; Painted Woods-Square Butte; Park; Sandhill-Wilson; Upper Sheyenne
OK1948202016Blue; Cache; Clear Boggy; Lower Beaver; Lower Canadian-Deer; Lower Cimarron-Eagle Chief; Lower North Fork Red; Lower Salt Fork Red; Lower Washita; Lower Wolf; Middle North Fork Red; Middle Washita; Northern Beaver; Upper Washita; Washita Headwaters; West Cache
OR1893201338Brownlee Reservoir; Bully; Donner und Blitzen; Goose Lake; Guano; Harney-Malheur Lakes; Jordan; Lost; Lower Columbia; Lower Columbia-Clatskanie; Lower Columbia-Sandy; Lower Deschutes; Lower John Day; Lower Malheur; Lower Willamette; Middle Columbia-Hood; Middle Columbia-Lake Wallula; Middle Fork Willamette; Middle Rogue; Middle Willamette; Molalla-Pudding; Necanicum; Nehalem; Pacific Northwest; Powder; Siletz-Yaquina; Silver; Tualatin; Umatilla; Umpqua; Upper Grande Ronde; Upper Klamath; Upper Malheur; Upper Rogue; Upper Willamette; Warner Lakes; Willow; Yamhill
PA189219988Crosswicks-Neshaminy; Lehigh; Lower Susquehanna; Lower Susquehanna-Swatara; Lower West Branch Susquehanna; Raystown; Susquehanna; Upper West Branch Susquehanna
SC1949202015Congaree; Enoree; Lake Marion; Lower Catawba; Middle Savannah; North Fork Edisto; Saluda; Santee; Seneca; South Atlantic-Gulf Region; Stevens; Upper Broad; Upper Catawba; Upper Savannah; Wateree
SD193420038Fort Randall Reservoir; James; Lower James; Lower Lake Oahe; Medicine Knoll; Middle James; Turtle; Vermillion
TX1959201816Colorado Headwaters; Double Mountain Fork Brazos; East Galveston Bay; Elm-Sycamore; International Falcon Reservoir; Lake Meredith; Lower Frio; Lower Rio Grande; North Wichita; Salt Fork Brazos; South Laguna Madre; Toyah; Tule; Upper North Fork Red; Upper Salt Fork Red; White
UT193619921Lower San Juan
VT199319993Lake Champlain; Richelieu; Richelieu River
VA1971199425Appomattox; Banister; Big Sandy; Chowan; James; Lower James; Meherrin; Middle James-Buffalo; Middle James-Willis; Middle New; Middle Potomac-Anacostia-Occoquan; Middle Potomac-Catoctin; Middle Roanoke; North Fork Holston; Pamunkey; Potomac; Rapidan-Upper Rappahannock; Rivanna; Roanoke; Roanoke Rapids; Shenandoah; South Fork Shenandoah; Upper New; Upper Roanoke; York
WA1890200517Colville; Lake Washington; Lewis; Lower Columbia-Clatskanie; Lower Cowlitz; Lower Crab; Lower Snake; Lower Snake; Lower Snake-Tucannon; Middle Columbia-Hood; Middle Columbia-Lake Wallula; Nisqually; Pacific Northwest Region; Similkameen; Upper Columbia-Entiat; Upper Columbia-Priest Rapids; Upper Spokane
WV199319982Potomac; Upper Kanawha
WI198020086Lower Fox; Manitowoc-Sheboygan; Namekagon; Northwestern Lake Michigan; South Fork Flambeau; Upper Wisconsin
WY1970199911Big Horn; Big Horn Lake; Cheyenne; Glendo Reservoir; Horse; Lower Laramie; North Platte; Powder; South Platte; Upper Belle Fourche; Upper Tongue

Table last updated 6/22/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Ecology: White crappie are found in warm, turbid lakes, rivers, river backwaters and are most abundant in lakes and reservoirs greater than 5 acres in size. In rivers, Pomoxis annularis prefers low velocity areas (Edwards et al. 1982; Moyle 1976). Vegetation is not required in habitat (Becker 1983). Despite White Crappie’ tolerance of, and apparent preference for turbid waters, greater growth is observed in clearer water (Edwards et al. 1982). Optimum water temperature range is 27-29°C and the maximum observed temperature was 31.1°C (Becker 1983). Ideal dissolved oxygen concentrations are 5 mg/L and the lowest concentration White Crappie have been observed at was 2.2 mg/L. It is assumed that the safe pH range is 5-9 and for best production a  pH of 6.5-8.5 is required. The highest salinity in which White crappie have been observed is 1.3 ppt (Edwards et al. 1982).

White crappie are schooling fish and schools are frequently localized in distribution (Becker 1983). During the winter they are reportedly inactive and remain close to the bottom in deep water (Moyle 1976).  Spawning begins in April or May when temperatures reach 17-20°C, but spawning could possibly be delayed by continuously low water temperatures. Males will construct nests in colonies of shallow depressions in hard clay bottoms, near beds of plants, algae or submerged plant debris to which eggs typically adhere. Nests are typically near overhanging bushes or banks in water that is less than 1 meter deep but nests have also been observed in 7 meter deep water (Moyle 1976; Hansen 1951). White crappie have exhibited territorial behavior over nests and will chase away intruders until eggs have hatched, which typically takes 2-5 days. Growth rates of White crappie can vary greatly depending on conditions and it is common for stunting and overcrowding to occur (Etnier and Starnes 1993). Individuals become mature in their second or third spring. It is rare for individuals to survive more than five years with 50% of fish in a brood typically dead by the third year of life (Becker 1983). The maximum lifespan is estimated to be 10 years (Etnier and Starnes 1993).

White crappie congregate around submerged logs or boulders in 2-4 m deep water during the day and leave to feed in open water during the evening and early morning.  They use long, fine gill rakers for straining zooplankton from the water and also have large protrusible mouths for consuming large prey . White crappie are an opportunistic feeders and will feed on fish and available aquatic insects (Moyle 1976). Individuals less than a year old only feed on zooplankton, but as they become mature fish become the most important source of food (Becker 1983).  Fish identified in the stomach contents of White crappie include the Spotfin shiner, Lepomis spp., the Tessellated darter, among other unidentified fish (Mathur 1972). It is preyed upon by larger fishes which can include Largemouth bass, Smallmouth bass, Northern pike and Muskellunge (Becker 1983).

Means of Introduction: Intentional stocking for sportfishing.

Status: Established in most locations.

Impact of Introduction: White Crappie prey on threatened and endangered juvenile salmon that spawn in rivers of the Northwest United States and may further contribute to salmon decline through habitat alteration, though the extent of those impacts are unknown (Sanderson et al. 2009). Nonnative predators, including crappie, have been shown to reduce the abundance and diversity of native prey species in several Pacific Northwest rivers (Hughes and Herlihy 2012).

Remarks: It is probable that all the White crappie in California are descendents of the original 16 fish planted in the state in 1917 (Goodson 1966a).

References: (click for full references)

Anonymous 2001. Oregon's Warm Water Fishing with Public Access. [online]. URL at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/warm_water_fishing/index.asp.

Becker, G.C. 1983. Fishes of Wisconsin. University of Madison Press Madison, WI. http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/EcoNatRes.FishesWI.

Edwards, E.A., D.A. Krieger, G. Gebhart, and O.E. Maughan. 1982. Habitat suitability index models: White Crappie. USDI Fish and Wildlife Service.

Etnier, D.A., and W.C. Starnes. 1993. The fishes of Tennessee. The University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN.

GLMRIS. 2011. Inventory of Available Controls for Aquatic Nuisance Species of Concern, Chicago Area Waterway System. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Goodson, L.F. 1966. Crappie. Pages 312-322 in Calhoun, A, ed. Inland fisheries management. California Department of Fish and Game. Sacramento.

Hansen, D.F. 1951. Biology of the white crappie in Illinois. Illinois Natural History Survey Bulletin 25(4):209-265.

Hocutt, C.H., R.E. Jenkins, and J.R. Stauffer, Jr. 1986. Zoogeography of the fishes of the central Appalachians and central Atlantic Coastal Plain. 161-212 in C.H. Hocutt and E.O. Wiley, eds. The zoogeography of North American freshwater fishes. John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY.

Hubbs, C.L., and K.F. Lagler. 1949. Fishes of the Great Lakes region. Volume 26. Cranbrook Institute of Science.

Hughes, R.M. and A.T. Herlihy. 2012. Patterns in catch per unit effort of native prey fish and alien piscivorous fish in 7 Pacific Northwest USA rivers. Fisheries 37(5):201-211.

Insider Viewpoint. 2001. Fishing Records – Nevada. Insider Viewpoint Magazine. 3 pp.

Linder, A. D. 1963. Idaho's Alien Fishes. TEBIWA, 6(2), 12-15.

Macenia, M.J., and I.F. Greenbaum. 1988. Allozymic Differences between Black and White Crappies. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 8:123-126.

Matern, S.A., P.B. Moyle, and L.C. Pierce. 2002. Native and alien fishes in a California estuarine marsh: twenty-one years of changing assemblages. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. 131: 797-816.

Mathur, D. 1972. Seasonal Food Habits of Adult White Crappie, Pomoxis annularis Rafinesque, in Conowingo Reservoir. The American Midland Naturalist 87(1):236-241.

Meronek, T.G., P.M. Bouchard, E.R. Buckner, T.M. Burri, K.K. Demmerly, D.C. Hatleli, R.A. Klumb, S.H. Schmidt, and D.W. Coble. 1996. A Review of Fish Control Projects. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 16:63-74.

Miller, R.R. and C.H. Lowe. 1967. Part 2. Fishes of Arizona, p 133-151, In: C.H. Lowe, ed. The Vertebrates of Arizona. University of Arizona Press. Tucson.

Miranda, L.E. 1999. A Typology of Fisheries in Large Reservoirs of the United States Large Reservoirs of the United States. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 19:536-550.

Moyle, P.B. and J. Randall. 1999. Distribution maps of fishes in California. [on-line] Available URL at http://ice.ucdavis.edu/aquadiv/fishcovs/fishmaps.html.

Page, L.M., and B.M. Burr. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Volume 42. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA.

Patrick, P.H., A.E. Christie, D. Sager, C. Hocutt, and J. Stauffer, Jr. 1985. Responses of fish to a strobe light/air-bubble barrier. Fisheries Research 3:157-172.

Rasmussen, J.L. 1998. Aquatic nuisance species of the Mississippi River basin. 60th Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference, Aquatic Nuisance Species Symposium, Dec. 7, 1998, Cincinnati, OH.

Red River Authority of Texas. 2001. Red and Canadian Basins Fish Inventory: Grayson County. Red River Authority of Texas.

Red River Authority of Texas. 2001. Red and Canadian Basins Fish Inventory: Red River County. Red River Authority of Texas.

Rohde, F. C., R. G. Arndt, J. W. Foltz, and J. M. Quattro. 2009. Freshwater Fishes of South Carolina. University of South Carolina Press, Columbia, SC. 430 pp.

Sanderson, B.L., K.A. Barnes, and A.M.W. Rub. 2009. Nonindigenous Species of the Pacific Northwest: An Overlooked Risk to Endangered Salmon? BioScience 59(3): 245-256.

Sommer, T, B. Harrell, M. Nobriga, R. Brown, P. Moyle, W. Kimmerer, and L. Schemel. 2001. California's Yolo Bypass: Evidence that flood control can be compatible with fisheries, wetlands, wildlife, and agriculture. Fisheries. American Fisheries Society. 26 (8): 6-16.

Starnes, W.C., J. Odenkirk, and M.J. Ashton. 2011. Update and analysis of fish occurrences in the lower Potomac River drainage in the vicinity of Plummers Island, Maryland—Contribution XXXI to the natural history of Plummers Island, Maryland. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 124(4):280-309.

Tilmant, J.T. 1999. Management of nonindigenous aquatic fish in the U.S. National Park System. National Park Service. 50 pp.

Trautman, M.B. 1981. The Fishes of Ohio. Ohio State University Press. Columbus, OH. 782 pp.

FishBase Summary

Author: P.Fuller, M. Cannister, M. Neilson and K. Hopper

Revision Date: 1/18/2024

Peer Review Date: 5/29/2012

Citation Information:
P.Fuller, M. Cannister, M. Neilson and K. Hopper, 2024, Pomoxis annularis Rafinesque, 1818: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=408, Revision Date: 1/18/2024, Peer Review Date: 5/29/2012, Access Date: 6/22/2024

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


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Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [6/22/2024].

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