I just stocked a roughly 1,200-gallon tank with 100 age-0 Black Crappie that averaged about 1" total length. Four hours later 29 dead and about half that many appear moribund showing signs of "vigor rigor". The tank has a robust bloom of water fleas that will be supplementally fed with alfalfa meal to push for more water flea production. No feeding activity observed among survivors yet. Once crappie come back on feed I will be watching the plankton bloom closely. As bloom crashes feed training will be started using ground freeze-dried krill. For fun, a light will be placed just above surface to concentrate zooplankton and attract night flying insects. Krill will be replaced with a trout feed once crappie start concentrating near light. Will be trying to see how many and how large the Black Crappie will be my end of growing season.
Most mortalities appear to be related to a combination of handling and change in water quality from source pond to tank. Extra fish not stocked into tank surviving much better, but still showing some stress. By Friday we will have 100 fish likely to survive as have several thousand in ponds to pull from.
We will be feeding training a couple thousand crappie starting in the next couple weeks. They will be larger by time handling starts and ponds will be cooled a few degrees before handling commences.