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lookin4fish

Crappie growth rate

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Does anyone know of an age chart for crappies? who old would a 17 inch crappie be, how old would a 9 inch crappie be?? i know some depends on each lake but is there a ball park estimate?

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Ballparking fish in the northern half of the U.S., not considering productivity and all the other variables, Black crappie at 9" would probably be around 5 years old, at 17" 12-15 years old.

Same circumstances for a white crappie, probably 3 years old for the 9"er, 11-13 years old for the 17".

Very few fish reach 17"...hard to avoid anglers and predators for that, fast-growing fish often die younger, and too many fish (or fish in certain lakes) just reach environmental limitations by that time. Quite a treasure catching crappies over 14.5", it's just hard to find them that big. Not impossible, just very challenging.

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I don't doubt there are a few up there, for the simple fact that they are unexploited. But they also grow very slowly and aren't a dominate specie in that type of waterbody. If you're targeting huge crappies, I'd put some time into researching the fish assemblages on boundary waters lakes. If you're in the true "boundary waters" you are in walleye/lake trout/tullibee/smallmouth bass/sucker/burbot dominated waters. If you stay on the western fringe of the arrowhead region, out of true "boundary waters", you can find those bigger crappies on Vermillion, Rainy, and other soft-water walleye dominated waters.

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I highly doubt there are a "Ton" of 17" crappies up there.. I dont doubt there are a few, but it really takes quite a bit of luck for a crappie to reach 17".

Im not sure about a "ton" or how much that is meant to be but there are more than a few you can say. Depending on location & areas up there i've had my share of 17" slabs over the years. If it has to be a "ton" of Crappies I could probably say 12"-14" is common. But for 17" it's probably unlikely.

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According to my 2008 regulations book a 17 inch crappie would weigh 3.3 lbs and 1 ton equals 2000lbs so there would only need to be 606 crappies over 17 inches in all the lakes in the boundary waters to make a ton of 17 inch crappies! I think his statement could possible be true! grinwink

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lol good point.

you can tell the age of any scaled fish by looking at the scales. each bump on the scale is one year kinda like the rings of a tree.

not sure what im talking about, take a look at the scales and you will see what i mean

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I'd swear that Crappies on lakes with slot limits know to stop growing just before they reach the slot size regardless of their age laugh.

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After two summers of growing (one winter) a crappie will be 4-6" long. Three summers:6-8". Four Summers:8-10". There is a good ronage considering the average lake in MN. There are some lakes around me that fish will reach 8" after two summers because of the lake being very fertile and full of forage.

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From South Dakota's DNR (I'm guessing they'll be similar) I'm eyeballing a graph and I get the following.

Age 1 - ~3 inches

Age 2 - ~5.6 inches

Age 3 - ~7.1 inches

Age 4 - ~8.3 inches

Age 5 - ~9.7 inches

Age 6 - ~10.1 inches

Age 7 - ~11.0 inches

Not enough data for older fish.

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Buckkiller, good info there... Yes, I believe it's true that crappie and all fish grow faster in fertile waters as food in generall is more plentifull. One can take that as in a greener / stinker / warmer / smaller lake, a crappie will grow faster as that lake is more fertile. Usually stinky and green with algae mean that the lake is fertile and has a very healthy food pyramid. So typically these smaller bowl lakes will go through a BOOM and BUST cycle of 4-7 years. Meaning there will be some real nice crappie year classes for a year or two then nothing but dinks for a few years then the right conditions during a summer come along and a year class of 8 to 10 inch fish gorge themselves while living for three months in water close to 90 degrees and they grow into 11 to 12 plus inchers in a hurry. A few survive into the next year and that's when you get your 14 plus inch crappies around the metro area out of a 150 acre puddle. Again that fish is probably 7-8 years old. This type of occurance is limited to Eutrophic lakes as opposed to Mesotropic or Oligotrophic lakes. Large Fish from the later two mentioned would be older and the fishing in the later two lakes would be less cyclic.

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Seen it happen on a swamp pond near Prior lake after a couple of no winterkills..only 6 feet deep at best...LOADS of 14+ fish for one year...then boom...bye bye...And, look at the Red Lake happening...

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