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Kissena Lake

Located just east of Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the 8.5-acre Kissena Lake offers tranquility within the borough of Queens. One of New York City's natural waterbodies, Kissena Lake has been through several man-made transformations, the latest of which was completed in 2003 to bring the lake back to a more "natural" condition. Almost three-quarters of the shoreline now consists of a soft-edge of terrestrial and wetland plant species whereas, at one time, this shoreline was composed entirely of concrete.

Physical Features:

Elevation: 20 feet
Area: 8.5 acres
Shoreline Length: 0.5 miles
Average depth: 4 - 5 feet


Shoreline access is available at many areas surrounding the lake. Those anglers fishing with children may wish to take advantage of the areas of the lake with railings.

Fish Species:

Largemouth bass, Bluegill, Pumpkinseed, Black crappie, Common carp, American eel, Yellow perch. For more information on these fish species, visit the page on Freshwater Fishes.


Common carp from Kissena Lake

Kissena Lake offers several warmwater fishing opportunities. Bluegill sunfish compose the largest proportion of the fish community with the next largest proportion consisting of black crappie. A large number of young-of-the-year black crappie were found during an October, 2007, DEC fishery survey of Kissena Lake. Fish surviving from this year-class should now offer excellent black crappie fishing. While 15" largemouth bass are less prevalent than at Prospect Park Lake, fishing for the humongous carp of Kissena can be an excellent experience. For how to catch these fish, check out DEC website information on carp fishing. Generally, fishing the vegetated shoreline should yield the best results but take care not to damage shoreline plantings. You may wish to try lures over bait, not only for the excitement but because Kissena is home to a large turtle population, many of who will go for whatever bait is attached to your hook!


Special fishing regulations apply (leaving DEC website to official Fishing Regulations Guide vendor website).

New York City Department of Parks and Recreation rules require the use of non-lead weights and barbless hooks.

Fisheries Survey:

Data collected during DEC fishery surveys in 2005, 2007 and 2008 suggest both predator (bass) and prey (sunfish) species in the larger size ranges are low in number. The potential cause of this could be illegal take of fish. The table below compares the electrofishing largemouth bass catch per hour for six New York City waterbodies. Note that Kissena Lake catch per hour of 8" fish is comparable with other NYC waterbodies, but the catch rate drops for fish 12" and larger. If you observe any fishing violations at Kissena or any NYC lake or pond with catch-and-release regulations, report them by calling the hotline at 1-844-332-DEC-ECOS (844-332-3367).

Largemouth Bass Catch/Hour for Eight New York City Waterbodies (table updated 2018)
Waterbody 8" and over 12" and over 15" and over
Baisley Pond 17 10 10
Central Park Lake 18 15 9
Harlem Meer 47 35 14
Indian Lake 20 20 1
Kissena Lake 12 6 4
Oakland Lake 27 12 0
Prospect Park Lake 76 41 30
Van Cortlandt Lake 22 5 0
Willowbrook Lake 10 10 10