Northwestern Ontario is under the direct path of the Mississippi Flyway. The Crappie spawn coincides with the spring Waterfowl migration to the north. Ducks and geese have been stopping to rest on various lakes in the region and have dropped Crappie eggs, which were most likely stuck to feathers; the most likely origins of Rugby Lake Crappy. Rugby Lake is a perfect environment for Crappie with the shallow weedy bays and both rocky and sandy shorelines. Once they got a foothold in the lake it took very little time for Crappie to proliferate into great numbers and being easy to catch; our guests are surprised at how easy it is.
Crappy have really taken off in the last couple years. You will catch a lot! Average size ranges between 9.5 inches up to 12 inches. Crappy is a new species to Rugby Lake only being discovered in Broadscale Monitor netting in 2009 and they are still being studied. In trap netting targeting crappy; last September 60% of all the fish caught were Crappy. Some of the net settings counted over 70 Crappy over night.
Crappy are abundant and with a sports fishing license you are allowed to keep 15 of them. If you have never eaten Crappie then you are in for a treat.
Their meat is pure white and sweet and many prefer eating Crappie to Walleye. Experts never expected the Crappie population to explode like it has this far north and certainly did not expect them to grow so big; thinking the cold northern lakes would only produce small fish. The exact opposite has happened. Crappie can get big and in Rugby Lake we expect to start seeing 13-inch Crappie soon.