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Fishing in Central Park? Yes, You Can

Fishing in Central Park

We asked the gentleman seen fishing in the above photo what people caught in the Harlem Meer.  He said carp and bass.  Yes, fishing in Central Park is legal, but there are rules.

“A friend recently caught a 10-pound bass,” the angler volunteered. Things you learn.

Other fish include Black Crappie, Pumpkinseed Sunfish, Chain Pickerel, Catfish, Bluegill Sunfish, and Crayfish.

One must obtain a license to fish in the park (or any of the city’s freshwater lakes and rivers), but do not assume that anything caught will land on your dinner plate.  Fishing in Central Park is strictly catch and release.

Check out the regulations

Fishing is allowed only in the Harlem Meer, the Central Park Lake and the Central Park Pond. There’s no fishing in the Reservoir or Turtle Pond.

Speaking of which, you may not catch or otherwise disturb turtles. That extends to feeding them. One is also not allowed to bother birds, either.

We had no idea that the park was home to crabs, but apparently it is.  The regulations forbid setting a trap for crabs or other crustaceans.

There are more rules governing acceptable bait, fishing season, hours and so on.

You can obtain a rod and bait at the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center for catch-and-release fishing.


Fishing is allowed in Central Park.

Fishing poles and bait can be rented from the Dana Discovery Center at the northern edge of Central Park.

Before we go, let us express our astonishment at the enormous wealth of plant- and wildlife inhabiting our Central Park, the gorgeous 843-acre rectangle smack in the midsection of Manhattan.

Thanks as always to the Central Park Conservancy

And much of the thanks for the park’s continuing splendor goes to the Central Park Conservancy, a non-profit that provides 75 percent of the park’s annual budget through private contributions. All hail Douglas Blonsky, who is stepping down as the conservancy’s president after 32 years of hard work rescuing the Central Park from potential ruin.

Everyone, join the conservancy.  Do it now.

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