During the last three years or so, we have all been bragging about the large size to the crappie that we have been catching on Lake Norman. Both black and white crappie like the one shown below were being caught in the 12 to 16 in range which is not common for this sought-after fish.
The educated consensus is that the crappie are disappearing in Lake Norman but not because we are keeping the bigger ones but because of the white perch invasion into the lake. I was informed by the experts from the State Wildlife Group who are experts on this lake, that there is repeated history on many Southern lakes, that when white perch invade a specific pattern appears. First the perch eat the eggs of the white bass and eventually eliminate them from a lake. That has already happen on Norman. After the white bass are gone the growing number of white perch compete with the crappie fry for food, eventually starving the small crappie out. We seem to be in that phase at this time. The experts feel that it is only a matter of time before all crappie disappear from Lake Norman and there seems to be nothing that can be done about it.
Nature is doing its thing, but it is unfortunate that we will soon see the demise of crappie in this great lake.