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Fishing in New York City Parks

A guest uses a fishing rod to fish from a pier that looks out on the Verrazan-Narrows Bridge, the water, and Brooklyn

New York City has more than 520 miles of shoreline, as well as inland lakes in our parks, all of which offer an opportunity to participate in the fun and excitement of freshwater and saltwater sport fishing.

Have you ever wanted to go fishing but you didn’t know the rules and regulations or where to go? NYC Parks is here to help.

Please follow the rules below as well as all posted guidelines and City, State, and Federal regulations.

Know Before You Go

What to Bring

  • Fishing license (required)
    Everyone aged 16 and older needs a fishing license for freshwater fishing. For fishing license information, visit the NYS DEC website.
  • Lead-free fishing sinkers (required) for ½ ounce or less weights
    Lost or discarded lead weights dissolve slowly over time. Exposure to low amounts of lead is toxic to both humans and wildlife.
  • Non-stainless steel hooks (recommended)
    If lost or swallowed by a fish, non-stainless steel hooks will rust, dissolve, and disappear quicker than stainless steel hooks.
  • Barbless hooks (required for freshwater fishing)
    Barbless hooks are easier to remove, causing fewer fish injuries.

Fishing Traps

Use of traps to catch fish and/or crustaceans is not allowed in areas under NYC Parks jurisdiction.

Fishing Regulations

Leaving Fishing Areas

Once you're done fishing, please remove all fishing line fragments, hooks, and lures from parklands and waters. The discarded fishing line can entangle birds, other wildlife, and even people resulting in serious injuries.

Locations

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LocationDescriptionTypeImage
American Veterans Memorial Pier
Bay Ridge Avenue and Shore Road
This popular Bay Ridge fishing pier provides anglers with plenty of striped basses as well as a breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline.SaltwaterImage of American Veterans Memorial Pier
Brooklyn Bridge Park
At the western end
Enjoy views of the New York Harbor and Manhattan skyline as you cast your line from Pier 5 into the East River. Visit Brooklyn Bridge Park's fishing page for more information.Saltwater
Prospect Park
South side of the park between Prospect Park SW and St. Paul's Place
Fishermen are attracted to the population of largemouth bass at this tranquil 48-acre lake at Prospect Park’s southern tip. It is also home to bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish, black crappie, and yellow perch. Visit the Prospect Park Alliance's fishing page for more information.FreshwaterImage of Prospect Park Lake
Wnyc Transmitter Park
End of Kent Street
Visit the former home of WNYC’s radio transmission towers and cast your line into the East River from the recreational pier near Kent Street.FreshwaterImage of Transmitter Park Fishing Pier
Valentino Pier
Fish for bluefish, striped bass, fluke, and weakfish while enjoying views of the Statue of Liberty, Governor’s Island, Manhattan’s skyline, Staten Island, and the New York Harbor.SaltwaterImage of Valentino Pier
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LocationDescriptionTypeImage
Baisley Pond Park
This 28-acre lake provides plenty of shoreline for the enterprising angler, who can expect to find largemouth bass and carp, along with the occasional black crappie, bluegill sunfish, or chain pickerel. Access includes a concrete promenade from which a line may be cast in addition to grassy areas.FreshwaterImage of Baisley Pond
Broad Channel American Park
For the early Dutch settlers, this area was an amazing source of oysters, clams, shrimp, and fish. Today, enjoy the tranquility of fishing for flounder, striped bass, bluefish, or sea robin from the park’s sandy beaches or marshy shorelines.Saltwater
Kissena Park
Northeast park between 160 Street and 163 Place
You can find bluegill sunfish, black crappie, carp, and brown bullhead flourishing in this eight-acre lake. Keep your eye on your line, or you may run the risk of catching one of the lake’s many turtles!FreshwaterImage of Kissena Lake
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
South of the Long Island Expressway
In addition to catching white perch and carp, largemouth bass, and pumpksinseed, sometimes you may land a snakehead here. Help protect native fish populations and do not release snakeheads back into the water. Learn more about the northern snakehead, and report any catches to your local DEC office.FreshwaterImage of Meadow Lake
Alley Pond Park
Northwestern section of the park
This natural lake, fed by an underground spring and a ravine, allows visitors to enjoy more than just fishing for bluegill sunfish, chain pickerel, and perch. The natural diversity of the area also attracts a variety of different birds, from waterfowl to songbirds.FreshwaterImage of Oakland Lake
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LocationDescriptionTypeImage
Clove Lakes Park
Originally constructed as water sources for milling operations, the three ponds that make up Clove Lakes Park are home to bluegill sunfish, carp, brown bullhead, and largemouth bass. There are vegetation breaks around the lakes’ perimeters allowing access for fishing.FreshwaterImage of Brooks Lake, Clove Lake, and Martling Lake
Lemon Creek Park
This park on Staten Island’s south shore provides access to plenty of flounder, striped bass, bluefish, sea robin, and dogfish.Saltwater
Ocean Breeze Park
Cast your line out into the Lower Bay and test your skills on fish entering and leaving the Hudson River Estuary.SaltwaterImage of Ocean Breeze Fishing Pier
Willowbrook Park
This serene freshwater lake contains bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish, largemouth bass, carp, and brown bullhead. It’s great for beginners and family fishing excursions.FreshwaterImage of Willowbrook Lake
Wolfe's Pond Park
Cornelia Avenue and Hylan Boulevard
Enjoy the opportunity to fish either from the interior of this nature preserve or along the beach on the south shore.Both Freshwater and SaltwaterImage of Wolfe’s Pond
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LocationDescriptionTypeImage
Castle Hill Park
Between Westchester Creek to the east and Pugsley Creek to the west
This park features both rocky and marshy shoreline access with a charming view.SaltwaterImage of Castle Hill Park
Hunts Point Riverside Park
Located just upstream from the terminal mouth of the Bronx River, you can fish in brackish waters from the fishing pier. For several years, NYC Parks has been conducting an anadromous fish introduction program in the Bronx River; recent annual releases included alewife herring.SaltwaterImage of Hunts Point Riverside Park
Crotona Park
Crotona Park East & Charlotte Street
This beautiful 3-acre lake is home to largemouth bass, bluegill, and pumpkinseed sunfish. Anglers can cast off from the east side deck, or follow paved paths to more solitary spots on the shoreline.FreshwaterImage of Indian Lake
Pelham Bay Park
At the waterfront east of the Aileen B. Ryan Recreational Complex
Cast a line off of this rocky shoreline and test your skills fishing for striped bass or flounder. There is a small parking lot available on Middletown Road. From here, it is a short journey through Huntington Woods to reach the shore, less than a half mile walk.SaltwaterImage of Pelham Bay Park South
Van Cortlandt Park
Bailey Ave & Van Cortlandt Park South
This gorgeous 18-acre lake is home to plenty of yellow perch, brown bullheads, largemouth bass, black crappie, and carp. The lake’s shoreline includes both flat grassy areas as well as more challenging spots in the sloping, forested section of the lake.FreshwaterImage of Van Cortlandt Lake
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LocationDescriptionTypeImage
East River Esplanade
Enter from 96th street and enjoy the views of Randall’s Island and Long Island City while fishing for white perch, striped bass, flounder, black sea bass, oyster toadfish, and even eels.Saltwater
John v. Lindsay East River Park
Almost anywhere along this 1.5-mile shorefront park, you can fish for striped bass, flounder, black sea bass, oyster toadfish, and even eels.SaltwaterImage of East River Waterfront
Central Park
East side from 106th to 110th Street
Be surrounded by the city as you fish for pumpkinseed and bluegill sunfish, largemouth bass, and carp. Respect all fences and stay out of closed landscapes. For those without equipment, the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center loans out free fishing poles to use at the Harlem Meer.FreshwaterImage of Harlem Meer
West Harlem Piers
Cast your line out into the Hudson River from this portion of the historic Manhattanville shoreline.Saltwater

For a more comprehensive list of fishing locations and rules in New York, visit the NYS DEC fishing page

NYC Parks Fishing Regulations

By observing the following regulations when fishing in waters under the jurisdiction of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, you will help preserve our marine resources for future generations to enjoy. For state and federal regulations of which you should be aware, please visit the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website.

(The following is an excerpt from Section §1-05 Regulated Uses of the Rules & Regulations of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.)

(h) Fishing

  1. Fishing shall be permitted from locations under the jurisdiction of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, except in open swimming areas or where specifically prohibited.

    Any person who engages in fishing shall obey all posted guidelines and comply with all applicable City, State, and Federal laws and regulations, including Title 6 of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law.
  2. The use of lead fishing weights in waters under the jurisdiction of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation shall be a violation of these rules.
  3. Failure to remove fishing line fragments and hooks from land and waters under the jurisdiction of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation shall be a violation of these rules.
  4. All fish caught in freshwater areas shall be immediately released. The use of barbed hooks in such areas shall be a violation of these rules.
  5. The use of traps to catch fish and/or crustaceans in areas under the jurisdiction of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation shall be a violation of these rules.

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