Solid Gold Crappie A Rarity

Solid Gold Crappie A Rarity

Author: Georgia Outdoors News
Published: November 9, 2022

Check this out! A rare catch from a pond in Missouri….

“A golden crappie was recently caught in Missouri in a private pond, and the rare fish made national news. Holly Haddan’s once-in-a-lifetime catch was identified by officials as a golden crappie, which is born with a genetic condition that makes its scales a shiny, vibrant yellow color.

Xanthochroism causes yellow pigmentation in animals, similar to how albinism causes a lack of pigment, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation. The genetic condition can occur in a variety of animals, not only fish.

“It was definitely a shock to reel it in,” Haddan wrote in a Facebook comment. The angler noted how it was particularly surprising because she found the rare golden crappie in her private pond, which is located near Springfield, Missouri.

Steve Schleiger, Region 3 Fisheries Supervisor in the Fort Valley DNR office, offered some more detail on the golden coloration in a crappie that is due to a genetic anomaly. He said the yellowish color, known as xanthous, is due to the lack of color pigments in specific cells which allow the neutral color of cholesterol in fish skin to bleed through.  Xanthous crappie are relatively rare, Steve says, and he has only seen one in his career of 36-plus years in Georgia. He said this genetic anomaly is more common in white bass where it has been documented several times in the past on Lake Sinclair.

Scott Robinson, Chief of Fisheries for Georgia’s Wildlife Resources Division, says he has never seen a golden crappie. Is there a GON reader out there who has caught a golden crappie? Let us know.

You are likely aware that crappie come in two varieties, white and black crappie, but Scott says that there is a variant of black crappie that is sometimes seen in south Georgia referred to a black nose crappie. It has a black streak of coloration that runs from the top of the dorsal fin down to the nose, thus earning the term black nose crappie. Also called black-stripe crappie, these fish have a recessive gene.

So, as you are fishing for crappie this winter and next spring, be on the lookout for the black nose crappie and the much rarer and elusive golden crappie!”

Full article can be found with this link.

Photo Credit: Original Author

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