At 95 acres, Meadow Lake in Flushing Meadows Corona Park is the largest fishable freshwater body in New York City. Meadow connects to 45-acre Willow Lake, currently not open to fishing. Meadow Lake is tidally influenced through a connection to Flushing Bay via Flushing Creek and a network of culverts passable by fish. This connection has led to a high number of American eels and white perch in Meadow Lake, both of which are found in marine waters and can tolerate both fresh and saltwater. Other salt-tolerant species of fish found during DEC Fisheries surveys include Atlantic tomcod, gizzard shad, alewife and inland silverside.
Area: 95 acres
Depth: Approximately four feet throughout
Alewife, American eel, Bluegill, Brown Bullhead, Common Carp, Goldfish, Gizzard Shad, Silverside, Largemouth Bass, Mummichog, Northern Snakehead, Pumpkinseed, White Mullet, White Perch
New York City Department of Parks and Recreation rules require the use of non-lead weights and barbless hooks.
Anyone catching a northern snakehead MUST NOT RELEASE it. Anglers are required by law to kill any snakehead caught and report the catch to their local DEC Regional Fisheries Office. Call the NYC Regional Fisheries office at 718-482-4922 or send an email to report your catch.
Fisheries Survey Summary
Largemouth bass were not collected or observed during the earliest fisheries surveys of Meadow Lake but, since 2010, DEC Fisheries staff has collected largemouth bass, indicating these fish are reproducing and potentially on the rise. Northern snakehead fish, an invasive species, were first discovered in both Meadow and Willow Lakes in 2006. Subsequent fisheries surveys have revealed they are actively reproducing. The snakeheads do not appear to be negatively impacting other fish species of Meadow and Willow Lakes as DEC Fisheries has documented no change in catch-per-unit effort (CPUE) of other fish species of both lakes. Contrarily, an increase in the largemouth bass catch rate has been observed.
Northern Snakeheads in New York City - (PDF) (993 KB). 2016 article published in Northeastern Naturalist, 23(1): 11-24. The publisher, the Eagle Hill Institute, allows download of this article through the DEC website, however, any further distribution or reproduction, in whole or in part, except for personal research purposes, without written permission of the publisher, the Eagle Hill Institute, is prohibited.