If you love to fish and enjoy eating your catches, then you know crappies are bountiful and delicious. You can find them throughout North America all year round in lakes, rivers and ponds. You might have noticed that not all crappies look the same, but do you know the differences between white and black crappies? Here are a few easy ways to identify which is which.
Though they are generally similar in size and appearance, black and white crappies do have some physical differences. Black crappies are covered in dark, seemingly random patterns, whereas white crappies have stripes and are lighter in color. The white crappie is much lighter overall, especially on its back. The white crappie’s dorsal fin is also set further back on its body, and it only has five or six visible spines, whereas the black crappie has seven or eight. White crappies also have slightly longer bodies.
Both black and white crappies can both be found in most bodies of fresh water, but they have slightly different habitat preferences. Black crappies prefer water that is clear and cool, while white crappies prefer murkier waters. Black crappies also live among more aquatic vegetation than white crappies, though white crappies do like having the cover of a tree branch or root.
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