Either of two deep-bodied freshwater North American fish species (family Centrarchidae) that are popular as food and prized by sport fishermen. Native to the eastern U.S. but introduced elsewhere, crappies may reach a length of about 12 in. (30 cm) and a weight of about 4 lb (2 kg). The white crappie (Pomoxis annularis) generally inhabits warm, silty lakes and rivers. Silvery with irregular dark markings, it is usually lighter in colour than the similar black crappie, or calico bass (P. nigromaculatus), which typically lives in clear lakes and streams.