Genetic Testing Confirms New Illinois State-Record Crappie was a Hybrid


The Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ (IDNR) Division of Fisheries confirmed that a new state-record hybrid crappie was caught at Kinkaid Lake in Jackson County on March 28.

The fish, caught by Ryan Povolish of Carbondale, weighed 4 pounds, 8.8 ounces. The fish appeared to be a black crappie, but genetic testing completed this week by the Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) confirmed it to be a hybrid crappie.

“The fish had the appearance of a black crappie, but that’s why we do the genetic testing,” said Dan Stephenson, chief of the IDNR Division of Fisheries. “Ryan’s catch is another indicator of the great fishing opportunities anglers can find here in Illinois.”

“INHS was excited to be able to assess Ryan’s massive slab crappie,” said Mark Davis, conservation biologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey. “Using DNA from a fin clip, we looked at three pieces of DNA from this fish and compared it with both a pure white and a black crappie from Kinkaid Lake. The genetics show that the mother of the record fish was a black crappie, while the father was either a white or a hybrid crappie.”

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The previous state-record hybrid crappie, caught in a Jefferson County pond in 2008, weighed 4 pounds, 8.3 ounces.

The existing state-record black crappie was caught at Rend Lake in 1976, weighing 4 pounds, 8 ounces. The Illinois record white crappie (4 pounds, 7 ounces) was caught in a pond in Morgan County in 1973.

For more information on catching fish, state-record fish and fishing opportunities in Illinois, check out the ‘I Fish Illinois’ website at