Lower Yaphank Lake
Lower Yaphank Lake is part of the Carmans River system. It lies off of Exit 67 of the Long Island Expressway, just north of Long Island Avenue. The lake supports a good population of largemouth bass, sunfish, and several other warmwater fish species. The DEC provides additional fishing opportunity during the cooler months of the year by stocking trout. Lower Lake offers a peaceful natural setting for a fishing trip.
Area: 25 acres
Maximum depth: 7 feet
Species Present (naturally reproducing):
Species Present (stocked):
Access to the lake is via a concrete DEC boat ramp located off of Yaphank Avenue (Route 21).
Directions: From Route 21 take the first left north of the LIE onto Long Island Avenue. The boat ramp entrance will be your first right.
Restrictions: Boats are permitted but may only be launched from the DEC boat launch. Shoreline access is available, but limited.
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 Lower Yaphank Lake (Spring 2001)
Lower Lake is a shallow (> 7 feet) 25 acre dammed lake located just upstream of Southaven County Park. Its origins predates the United States. In 1762, John Homan was given the right to build a sawmill in Lower Yaphank for the cost of 40 shillings. He was also given the rite to build a "fuling mill," a mill that assisted in making cloth. In 1771, he was permitted to build a grist mill (a mill that grinds grain) at the site. In payment for grinding the local farmer's grain, Mr. Homan collected 3 quarts of grain for every bushel (32 quarts) grinded. While the history is unclear, it appears that a mill of some sort stood at the Lower Lake dam until it burned down during World War 1. At the time the milled burned down, it was called Gerald's Mill.
Lower Lake has a long history of fishing. Nick Karas, in his book titled Brook Trout, quoted Frank Forester from 1848. Forester described the brook trout in Lower Lake "of very large and very uniform size, running from one and a half to two pounds weight." These days, both brown and rainbow trout are stocked into Lower Lake each spring. Recently, two year old brown trout have begun to be stocked into the lake, providing fishing action for larger sized trout. There have also been reports of occasional holdover trout up to 17 or 18 inches. In addition to the trout, there is good bluegill population in the lake. While the largemouth bass population is relatively low density, six pound bass have been reported in an average year.
In order to provide better fishing access to anglers, the DEC in cooperation with Suffolk County and the NYSDOT constructed a fishing access site in 1997. This site allows trailer launching of boats and has a six car parking lot. While the site is not very busy most of the year, expect crowds the first few weekends of the stocking season. Have fun giving this historic water a try.