Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Van Cortlandt Lake

Van Cortlandt Lake supports a diverse warmwater fish community that should provide quality fishing opportunities for largemouth bass and a variety of panfish.

Physical Features:

Elevation: 15 feet
Area: 18 acres
Shoreline Length: 0.81 miles
Approximate average depth: 4 - 8 feet


Shoreline access varies from flat grassy areas to steeper-sloped wooded areas. While the latter may be more challenging for first-time anglers your efforts to reach these areas could be rewarded with the catch of a decent-sized fish. For public transportation directions to Van Cortlandt and other New York City lakes see the related link, "Getting to NYC Freshwater Fishing Locations."

Getting to Van Cortlandt Lake via Mass Transit:
Take the 1 train to 242nd St and walk east into the park; the lake is located adjacent to the public golf course.
Take the BxM3 or Bx10 bus to Van Cortlandt Park S and Van Cortlandt Ave W. Walk north into the park; the lake is next to the public golf course.

Van Cortlandt Lake and the surrounding forests

Fish Species:

Largemouth bass, black crappie, brown bullhead, bluegill, pumpkinseed, golden shiner, common carp, white sucker, yellow perch.


Special regulations apply. See Special Fishing Regulations for NYC.

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

Fisheries Survey:

A DEC electrofishing survey performed in May, 2021, yielded a variety of warm water fish species including: largemouth bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed, brown bullhead catfish, black crappie, yellow perch, golden shiner and white sucker. Specimens of both yellow perch and black crappie were recorded with sizes over 10 inches. Brown bullhead catfish reached up to 13 inches in size. Full findings can be found in the Van Cortlandt Lake Technical Brief (PDF).

Largemouth Bass Catch/Hour for Ten New York City Water Bodies
Waterbody 8" and over 12" and over 15" and over year
100th Street Pool 50 37 0 2022
Baisley Pond 10 6 6 2021
Central Park Lake 9 5 0 2019
Harlem Meer 102 78 37 2021
Kissena Lake 55 20 4 2022
Oakland Lake 55 20 2 2021
Prospect Park Lake 51 19 1 2021
Van Cortlandt Lake 41 15 0 2021
Willowbrook Lake 17 17 8 2020
Wolfe's Pond 31 9 0 2021