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Wantagh Mill Pond

Previously called Jones Pond, Wantagh Mill Pond is a popular fishing spot. A paved path winds its way along the shoreline, providing easy fishing access to most of the pond.

Physical Features:

Area: 15 acres
Maximum depth: 3.5 feet

Access:

Nassau County Park

Directions: Wantagh Mill Pond is located in Wantagh just to the west of the Wantagh State Parkway on the north side of Merrick Road.

Restrictions: Boats are prohibited, but shoreline access is available.

Fish Species:

  • Largemouth Bass
  • Chain Pickerel
  • Bluegill
  • Pumpkinseed
  • Black Crappie
  • Yellow Perch
  • White Perch
  • Carp
  • Brown Bullhead
  • American Eel
  • Black Bullhead

Fishing:

Wantagh Mill Pond has one of the most diverse fish communities in Nassau County. Anglers can target bass, pickerel, or the abundant bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish. Most of the fish in the pond tend to be smaller than other Nassau County waters. For the largest fish, target carp near the edges of spatterdock (an aquatic plant) which grows out of the water in dense clusters. Use heavy line, as these fish will try to get you tangled in the weeds. One special note about Wantagh Mill Pond, is that it was the home of a New York State record fish! In August, 1993 a state record 7lb. 7oz black bullhead was landed here. The record still holds today.

Invasive Species:

Water chestnut is an invasive aquatic plant native to Eurasia and Africa has been found in the Wantagh Mill Pond. During the summer, the leaves of the plant form dense mats on the water surface that can be difficult or nearly impossible to fish through. The fruits of the plant are hard nut with sharp, barbed spines that can painful wounds if stepped on.

Please help prevent the spread of invasive species. After visiting a waterbody, take an extra moment to remove any plant debris that you see on your clothing, or fishing gear. If you use waders in a waterbody where invasive species exist, it is best to wash them and allow the waders to dry completely before wearing them in another waterbody.

For more information, visit DEC's Aquatic Invasive Species webpage.

Regulations:

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 Wantagh Mill Pond (Summer 2002)

Wantagh Mill Pond is a 15 acre 4 foot deep pond located in Wantagh, NY, along Merrick Road just west of the Wantagh Parkway. The pond itself is nestled inside a 54 acre natural area maintained by Nassau County Recreation and Parks. Historically, the pond was also known as Jones' Pond which still appears on some maps. A paved path winds its way around the pond, offering opportunities for wildlife observation and fishing access. The pond often has large numbers of waterfowl on it and can be a good place for birders to visit as marine ducks often visit the pond as well.

The pond is a popular fishing spot. Fourteen fish species live in the pond, including many popular fish to catch. There is one fish of special note that was caught from the pond. On August 25, 1993, a 7 lb 7 oz black bullhead was caught which is recognized by the NYSDEC as a state freshwater record fish and by the United Fishing Association as a all tackle world record!

In 1993, the NYSDEC Freshwater Fisheries Unit conducted an electrofishing survey of the pond. During the survey, 1,476 fish were captured, including 847 American eels, 221 pumpkinseed, 146 carp, 97 bluegill, 76 yellow perch, 25 golden shiners, 17 brown bullheads, 16 largemouth bass and 13 black crappie. While the catch rates were not extremely high by Long Island standards, some of the fish caught were large for the species. Some of these fish include a 19 inch chain pickerel, an 18 inch largemouth bass, a 15 inch brown bullhead, a 13 inch yellow perch, an 11 inch black crappie, and a 9 inch bluegill. Carp were not measured, but fish over 20 pounds have been reported from the pond. Because of the low catch rates of the fish, we ask that anglers practice catch and release; although keep in mind that people do have the right to keep fish.

In 2000, Nassau County began a project to control erosion of the south end of the pond. This included the installation of biologs (made from coconut fibers) and wetland plantings. The biologs provide shoreline protection for about five years. When the biologs decay, the roots of the wetland plantings will help maintain the shoreline. Over the years of heavy use in the park, shoreline plants had been trampled, leaving the shoreline exposed to erosion. This project should help correct that problem.

Wantagh Mill Pond is a nice place to visit. Walkers, birders, and anglers all will find a place for them in this Nassau County Park. To get to the park, take the Wantagh Parkway south to Merrick Road (exit W6 west). Make a right off the ramp and continue west for ½ mile. Park along Merrick Road along the south side of the pond. If you are fishing, you will pass two bait and tackle shops on the north side of Merrick Road: Causeway Bait and Tackle and Kwaks Bait and Tackle. Be sure to stop in to get you favorite bait or to find out where the hot spots are!