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
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.
List of Fishing
|Willowbrook Lake||This serene freshwater lake contains bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish, largemouth bass, carp, and brown bullhead. It’s great for beginners and family fishing excursions.||Freshwater|
Know Before You Go
- Fishing traps
Use of traps to catch fish and/or crustaceans is not allowed in areas under NYC Parks jurisdiction.
- Freshwater fishing
Freshwater fishing is subject to NYS DEC angling regulations and catch and release only in NYC. Catch and release fishing ensures sustainable fishing for the future, allowing fish to return to the water and live out their entire life cycle.
- Saltwater fishing
Saltwater fishing is subject to NYS DEC angling regulations. The regulations are created to support a healthy ecosystem and sustain fishing in the future.
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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- NYC Parks Fishing Rules
- Permits, Licenses, and Registrations (Department of Environmental Conservation)
- Freshwater Fishing Regulations (Department of Environmental Conservation)
- Recreational Saltwater Fishing Regulations (Department of Environmental Conservation)
- Catch and Release Fishing in Central Park (Central Park Conservancy)
- New York City Region Fish Advisories (New York State Department of Health)
- Lead Fishing Weights and Loons (Department of Environmental Conservation)
- Restoration Projects: Anadromous Fish Reintroduction
Directions to Willowbrook Park
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