Would like to produce some hybrid crappies this year and feed train them. The way I see I can put one sex of each species in one of my hatchery ponds and let them do their thing or attempt to hatch then indoors. Or both. I have a nearby source of all blacks from a natural lake and a reservoir I can fish that is full of exclusively white crappies. Not sure if I can use the blacks I have indoors as they won't be exposed to the proper photoperiod, and not sure if I want to go to that much trouble. Will use a catheter tube to determine sex 100 percent.
I've been able to produce black crappie before in the hatchery pond and would like to try the hybrids for a couple of reasons:
1. All the crappie over 17 inches I get in to mount as a taxidermist are natural hybrids. (Several in the 18 inch 3 lb. range with one at an incredible 21 inches). They appear to be black crappie (although the spotting is a little less prolific) and there is very subtle bar pattern with 6 or 7 dorsal spines but only 6 anal spines.
2. The black crappies I produced and trained to feed on artificial feed last year just aren't growing very rapidly. Furthermore they feed better in my indoor RAS vs. the holding pond. They completely go off artificial feed in the holding pond. Most likely the fact they find natural feed in the pond. The poor growth may be attributed to the fact they are only one generation removed from the wild and not selected for faster growth at this time. And or I made the mistake of planting fathead minnows in the hatchery pond to feed the brood fish, and the fatheads overtook the pond and out competed the crappie fry, which didn't grow much.
Anybody have any tips? Centrarchid?
If I hatch indoors are the fry's mouth large enough to feed on brine shrimp?