Black Crappie Management Plan
Black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus) is a highly valued game fish throughout much of North America, including Florida, where the species is commonly known as “speckled perch” or “specks”. Florida’s black crappie fisheries are seasonal, largely occurring during winter and spring, making Florida a popular winter destination for travelling anglers. Florida’s crappie fisheries are important to resident and non-resident anglers alike, making black crappie the most targeted fish during winter at some lakes and in some cases the most targeted fish for the entire year.
To best direct management and research for this popular species, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission staff have drafted a comprehensive Black Crappie Management Plan, which utilizes a thorough review of existing scientific literature and extensive communications with crappie anglers.
Thank You for Your Input!
Thank you to everyone who participated in the twelve virtual meetings to provide comments on Black Crappie management in Florida. Also thank you to those who participated in our mail-in and online surveys. Your input is valuable and was incorporated into the Black Crappie Regulation Review.
Black Crappie Regulation Review Recently Completed
The goal of the Black Crappie Management Plan is to maintain or enhance Black Crappie fisheries in Florida through the development of research strategies and pioneering management. As part of the Black Crappie Management Plan, a review of the current regulations is crucial to ensure regulations are minimally restrictive and biologically relevant. As a primary objective in monitoring the success of Black Crappie fisheries and angler satisfaction, a regulation review team analyzed biological and social science data and gathered stakeholder input.
Following a review of biological and social science data, it was determined that no change was needed to the current statewide regulations. Specifically, biological data showed a statewide minimum length limit would not have increased yield (combination of size and number of fish harvested) for most of Florida’s Black Crappie fisheries and could have decreased yield in several fisheries. Social science survey data suggest some discrepancies among the size limit that anglers desired, and the impact they believed size limits have on maintaining healthy crappie fisheries. A majority of anglers were supportive of a 10” minimum size limit, although a similar percentage of anglers thought that having no size limit is important to maintaining healthy crappie fisheries in Florida. There was agreement among anglers concerning a bag limit regulation, with most being opposed to a change in the statewide bag limit of 25 fish. Many anglers from the survey and virtual meetings commented that they would like waterbody-specific size and bag regulations, and acknowledged the usefulness of statewide regulations for simplifying compliance and enforcement. Therefore, only a few resource-specific changes have been proposed. The proposed changes would remove size limits from resources where analyses suggest there is no benefit to the fishery. Also, minimum size limits will be maintained on those resources where analyses suggested they are beneficial to the fishery or where more data is needed to justify a change. The proposed regulation changes will be discussed at an upcoming Commission meeting, possibly in May and/or July 2022.
Please let us know what you think of these proposed changes!
Contact us at Crappie@MyFWC.com or call us at 352-732-1225.
To view summaries of the regulation review process and affected water bodies, click the appropriate link below: