Monthly Food Habits of Various Size Groups of Black Crappie in Lake Okeechobee

Concurrent with other life history investigations of black crappie, Pomoxis nigromaculatus (LeSeuer), in Lake Okeechobee, monthly examinations of stomach contents were made. Three food items--amphipods, oppossum shrimp, and fish--comprised the bulk of the diet. A change in diet occurred in early winter when the occurrence and numberoftendipeds dropped to a very low level, and again in late srping to early summerwhen tendipeds began to comprise a substantial portion ofthe diet. Data collected indicate tendipeds were primarily ingested as the pupae move toward the water surface and leave their cases rather than being picked from the bottom mud. Small black crappie (from 60 to about 240 millimeters) primarily utilized cntstaceans and insects as food items. Increasingly larger fish more frequently utilized fish as food.

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