Hi all I have a question about expected growth rates of feed trained Crappie. This was my second season of trying my hand at training BC to eat floating fish food and so far I have not been impressed with the amount of growth they have attained over the summer. Are BC just slower growing than other sunfish or is it something with my feeding? Thanks Steve
I have some BCP that in 1 yr achieved over 8" (from 4" to 12") in 12 full months on natural foods in a new pond. I've not heard of any successful feed training of Crappie so like NEDOC says, I'd love to hear more as well.
I started with 49 3 to 4" BC back in the end of March. I finished with 36 that looked like they took to feed and 11 emaciated but still alive with 2 that died about a month ago. I started out by mixing thawed frozen blood worms and brine shrimp with hydrated AM 300,AM 400 and Optimal JR. I fed that mixture for about 2 months and gradually switched over to dry Optimal. I also had a few small bluegill and some redear in the cage but most of the redear got fungal infections and died shortly after being caged.
Really cool experiment on the BC feeding - I know a few that have tried with average success. Those 3-4" BC seem to exhibit a large eye suggesting stunting - I suspect the less than anticipated growth might be due to quality of fish you were sold. BC purchased in March are almost age 1 fish and should be 6-8". Many hatcheries dump their nearly age 1 fish leftover from the previous season and often times they are the under-performing fish, or runts. 2-4" age 1 BC definitely fit the "runt" description...I buy age 0 BC in November and they average 5-7" - those fish are 7-8 months old. The BC do look solid, you definitely improved their body condition, albeit maybe not the length you were expecting.
RES looks like a chunk - those too can be tricky getting to feed. I've lost a bunch cage feeding - but the ones that figured it out exhibited strong growth.
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau
Thanks for the reply TJ. That makes sense that the fish were runts to start with. I had an empty cage in the pond for another project that didn't pan out that had some LMB fry swim into that I got on feed that grew to about 7" over the summer. Guess I will have to rethink when and where I get my fish next time. Steve
I have a few years experience growing both crappie species and the hybrid using pellets. Higher protein feeds like used so salmon and trout are better than feeds made for catfish. Secondly, growth rates I have been able to realize do not match even bluegill under identical conditions even though on natural feeds like minnows the crappie can blow the door off bluegill when it comes to growth rate.
We are missing something major with feeding crappie as the feeds are not supporting their full capacity for growth.
Aquaculture Cooperative Research / Extension Lincoln University of Missouri