Life History Of The Black Crappie Of Lakes Eustis And Harris, Florida

A study of the life history of the black crappie Pomoxis nigromaculatus (LeSueur), from Lakes Eustis and Harris, Florida, was made in 1952 and 1953. A comparison of the age composition of the individual and combined samples of 318 Lake Eustis and 403 Lake Harris black crappie showed a similarity existed between the two populations. The scale reading indicated few crappie reached ttte VIII group or older in Lake Eustis and few reached the VII group or older in Harris. Males and females showed only minor differences in growth. Calculations of growth from scale measurements yielded the following estimates of length at the end of the first eight years of life in Lake Eustis: first-2.0 inches; second-4A inches; third-6.8 inches; fourth-8.3 inches; fifth-9A inches; sixth-10.4 inches; seventh-l1.2 inches; and eighth-l1.7 inches. Results of calculations of crappie from Lake Harris were: first-1.9 inches; second-4.2 inches; third-6.6 inches; fourth-8.5 inches; fifth-9.8 inches; sixth-l1.2 inches; seventh-12.2 inches; eighth-13.0 inches and ninth-13.8 inches. A comparison of growth with other areas in the Southeast, indicated growth of Eustis and Harris crappie was slower and they lived longer. An analysis of the length-frequency distribution of 1,888 fish from Lake Eustis and 3,521 from Lake Harris did not aid materially to substantiate age and growth calculations based on scale measurements. Selectivity of the net resulted in a pronounced bias. Sex ratio varied during the months of study. It was found males were fewer than females during the period of examination. A similarity of sex ratios existed between crappie of the two lakes. Progression to spawning condition of both sexes was noted during the study in both lakes. A comparison of average weight of catches per haul and temperature data indicated larger catches were made during the colder months. Length-weight data of 1,471 black crappie from Lake Eustis and 2,118 from Lake Harris is presented.

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