Black crappies Pomoxis nigromaculatus and white crappies P. annularis were sampled to index recruitment in seven Tennessee reservoirs (four main-stem and three tributary storage impoundments). Crappie recruitment in tributary storage impoundments appeared to be consistently higher in years of high discharge during the prespawn period (1 January-31 March). A similar relation was found in one main-stem impoundment; however, crappie recruitment in two main-stem impoundments was inversely related to discharge during the spawning period (1 April-30 May), and little recruitment variation was found in the fourth main-stem impoundment. In general, reservoir hydrology appeared to have a stronger effect on crappie recruitment in tributary storage impoundments than in main-stem impoundments, possibly because recruitment was more variable in tributary systems. Thus, it is likely that crappie populations will rarely have strong year-classes simultaneously over a wide geographic area or even within a single watershed.
Additional publication details
Recruitment variation of crappies in response to hydrology of Tennessee reservoirs