Area: 30 acres
Species Present (naturally reproducing):
Species Present (stocked):
DEC, Hand-Carry boats, Shoreline Access
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.
Sweetwater Angler Profile of Laurel Lake (Fall/Winter 2001)
Laurel Lake is a scenic 30 acre 47 foot deep kettle hole lake located on the north fork of Long Island. It was formed by a large chuck of ice partially buried in the ground when the last glacier retreated. Once the ice melted, the remaining hollow in the ground that filled with water. It has no inlet or outlet stream and receives almost no stormwater runoff. As a result, Laurel Lake has some of the clearest pond water on Long Island!
The clear waters of Laurel Lake produce some of the nicest holdover trout on Long Island. Trout that are stocked at 8 or 9 inches in the spring approach 14 inches by mid to late fall. October is a good time to fish for the trout since they come out of their deep water summer holdover areas to take insects on the surface. The best fishing usually occurs the last hour of light.
Trout aren't the only fish that live in Laurel Lake. Largemouth bass, chain pickerel, bluegills, pumpkinseed, yellow perch, white perch and brown bullhead are present as well. For the bass, try fishing a jig in 10 to 20 feet of water where there is a significant drop in the bottom. Running ½ oz. spinnerbaits through the lilypads might be a good bet. The bluegills can be quite large in the lake, so give them a try for fun. Yellow perch up to 15 inches have also been caught out of the lake.
Laurel Lake is a good place to try ice fishing if the winter is cold enough. Fish for the pickerel, put your tip-ups close to shore. If you are seeking trout, try to fish shiners in about 20 feet of water just off the bottom. Make sure you use light line as the fish tend to be line shy. Be careful if you venture onto the ice as it is very slippery when wet. Many people use "bear claws," wooden handles with a nail driven through them that hang over your shoulders by a rope. If the ice breaks under you, the bear claws are your best way to pull yourself free.
Most of the shoreline of Laurel Lake is privately owned and public access is limited. Fishing from a boat is best. The only access to the lake is a 200 yard long wood chip path that goes down a small hill. Bring help if your boat is too heavy for one person to carry. There is no trailer access at the lake.
To get to Laurel Lake, take the LIE to Route 58 (exit 73) going east. Drive east on Route 58 to where it joins Route 25 going east. Continue on Route 25 about 6 miles to the town of Laurel. You will see a DEC access site sign on your left. If you come to where the LIRR train trestle goes over Route 25, you went too far. Just turn around and go back a few hundred yards to the access site. Drive through the town park and park in the back parking area.
One last little interesting tidbit about Laurel Lake is that it is one of the few places on Long Island that has freshwater jellyfish. And you thought jellyfish only lived in saltwater, didn't you?