Wantagh Mill Pond
Previously called Jones Pond, Wantagh Mill Pond is a popular fishing spot. The numbers of fish are not quite as plentiful as other locations; however, the average size of the fish are larger than other Nassau County waters. Take your choice from bass to chain pickerel to panfish to carp. All offer good action. It is probably the best yellow perch lake in Nassau County. In 1993, the state record black bullhead came from the pond weighing in at a whopping 7 lb. 7 oz.
Area: 15 acres
Maximum depth: 3.5 feet
Species Present (naturally reproducing):
Special fishing regulations exist.
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.
Health Advisories: No specific advisory.
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!