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South Pond

South Pond is located in Nassau County in Hempstead Lake State Park, directly across from McDonald Pond.

Physical Features:

Elevation: 20 feet
Area: 19 acres
Shoreline Length: 0.81 miles
Maximum depth: 7 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 (link leaves DEC's website).

Directions: Take the Southern State Parkway to exit 18. 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: Boats are prohibited, but shoreline access is available. Park closed from dusk till dawn.

Fish Species:

Naturally Reproducing:

  • Largemouth Bass
  • Chain Pickerel
  • Black Crappie
  • Sunfish
  • Yellow Perch
  • Carp
  • Brown Bullhead
  • American Eel

Stocked (All fish are stocked in the fall. For more information call (516) 766-1029)

  • Brook Trout
  • Brown Trout
  • Rainbow Trout


South Pond is a mediocre fishery. For the largest fish, go for carp. Bass tend to be on the smaller side, with most less than 12 inches long. Panfish are plentiful, but most are less than 6 inches long. South pond does provided an occasional nice sized pickerel more than 20 inches long for patient anglers. Trout are stocked in the fall in late October and often can be caught into the spring, providing a good fall/winter fishing opportunity.


The New York Fishing Regulations website has the Special fishing regulations that apply (link leaves DEC's 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.

Sweetwater Angler Profile of South Pond (Fall/Winter 1999):

South Pond has a little bit of everything. It has a warmwater fishery typical of Long Island ponds. In addition, South Pond receives an annual fall trout stocking, providing a winter fishery when other species are slowing down.

During the 90's, South Pond was surveyed in the spring of 1992, 1995 and 1999. Species captured included largemouth bass, chain pickerel, black crappie, bluegill, pumpkinseed, yellow perch, brown bullhead, golden shiner, banded killifish, carp and American eel. Most fish species increased in numbers from 1992 to 1999 with the exceptions of brown bullhead and chain pickerel. These fish are difficult to sample (usually less than 5 fish captured per survey), so the decrease in catch rates were not alarming. Numbers of panfish increased; however, the size of the panfish tended to be small. Black crappie were captured for the first time in 1999. This was due to the introduction of black crappie into Hempstead Lake and the subsequent downstream movement of the fish. None of the black crappie were longer than 5 inches, well below the minimum length of 8 inches. It is recommended to release all black crappie you catch over the next few years to allow the population to establish itself. Catch rates of largemouth bass decreased in 1995, but then increased in 1999. The largest bass caught during the 3 surveys was 18 inches (3.3 pounds). No trout were captured in the 1995 or 1999 surveys, indicating that trout stocked in the fall are fished out by the spring.

When fishing South Pond during the fall and winter for trout, there are two hot spots to keep in mind. During the fall, the best place to fish is in the northeast corner were a little trickle of water enters South Pond. The trout stack up just off the trickle, probably in search of the running water they need to spawn. Once winter sets in, try the deeper hole near the southeast corner. The water in the hole will be warmer than the rest of the pond, so the fish tend to move there to overwinter. There is no set pattern to the location of the warmwater fish species during the warmer months in South Pond, so keep moving until you find fish.