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Hempstead Lake, Hempstead Lake State Park

Hempstead Lake, located in Hempstead Lake State Park, is the largest fresh water body in Nassau County.

Physical Features:

Elevation: 25 feet
Area: 167 acres
Shoreline Length: 2.85 miles
Maximum depth: 10 feet
Town: Hempstead


New York State Park. Access to the lake is via many dirt footpaths located around the perimeter of the lake. Seasonal parking fees may apply. Call (516) 766-1029 for details or visit the New York State Parks website.

Directions: Take the Southern State Parkway to exit 18 off the Southern State Parkway. Make a right at the stop sign on the end of the exit ramp (coming from either the east or the west) to enter the park.

Restrictions: Canoes, car top boats and electric trolling motors are permitted; however, a boat permit must first be obtained from the park. For more information call the park at (516) 766-1029. Additionally, boat must be hand launched, no trailers are permitted. Park closed from dusk till dawn.

Fish Species:

Largemouth Bass, Chain Pickerel, Bluegill, Pumpkinseed, Black Crappie, Yellow Perch, Carp, Goldfish, Brown Bullhead


Historically, Hempstead Lake was one of the top fisheries on Long Island. In the summer of 2002 Hempstead Lake completely dried up due to the extreme temperatures and low precipitation levels. The Region 1 Fisheries Unit restocked the lake in 2003 with black crappie, yellow perch, bluegill sunfish, pumpkinseed sunfish, banded killifish, golden shiners, and chain pickerel. In 2004 largemouth bass were stocked. In 2006 a fisheries survey was conducted to assess the reproductive success of this relatively new fish population. Juveniles of all of the stocked fish were caught in addition to the common carp. The occurrence of carp is troublesome; it is a non-native species that was illegally introduced into the lake by an unknown source. Historically the lake was known for its carp fishing and continues to be a popular location for folks who enjoy the challenge of carp fishing.


Special fishing regulations apply (leaving DEC website to official Fishing Regulations Guide vendor website)

Health Advice on Eating Fish You Catch:

Visit NYS Department of Health website (link leaves DEC's website) for health advice on eating fish you catch. Scroll to the bottom of the page for Long Island freshwater waterbodies.