Nine-Inch Crappie Limit Lifted on Public Waters 500 Acres and Smaller

It is now lawful for anglers to possess crappie of any size, that were legally taken from Alabama public waters of 500 acres in surface area and smaller, unless otherwise posted.  This regulation change became effective on June 1, 2005, when announced by the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Fisheries biologists have determined that crappie populations in small impoundments are usually not in need of protection from a minimum length limit.

Crappie populations fluctuate substantially in Alabama lakes and reservoirs less than 500 acres.  Typically a crappie population "booms" every 3 years, and crappie are plentiful and easily caught for several years after they reach a harvestable size.  Fish that remain in the population will grow more rapidly and may be caught later.  The daily creel limit and possession limit is 30 crappie unless otherwise posted at the lake, and there is no closed season.

Waters already exempt from the nine-inch crappie limit include state-owned public fishing lakes, the reciprocal waters of the Chattahoochee River and Impoundments and their tributaries, Bear Creek Reservoir (Big Bear Lake of the B.C.D.A. Lakes), Lake Jackson at Florala and Weiss Reservoir.  Currently, it is unlawful to possess crappie less than 10 inches in total length at Weiss Reservoir.

The daily creel, possession and size limit for crappie in federally-owned and managed ponds and fishing lakes in the State of Alabama shall be posted at each pond or lake.  Creel, possession and size limits for fish not posted shall be the same as otherwise provided for all public waters of the state.

Additional information about fish and fisheries programs is available on the Fisheries Section of this web site. For more information email Nick Nichols, Assistant Fisheries Chief of Research, or call (334) 242-3471.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.