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Fishing Close to Home

New York State has some of the finest fishing in the country and you often don't have to travel far to find outstanding fishing opportunities. Many fishing waters are in parks that provide bathrooms and other facilities perfect for a family outing. Many also provide good access for seniors and anglers with disabilities. Here are some family friendly fishing waters that are both close to major population centers and offer a good opportunity to have a fun day of fishing.

Long Island/NYC

Hempstead Lake/McDonald and South Ponds

All three are located in Hempstead Lake State Park, Hempstead (Nassau County). Each has a warmwater fish community. South and McDonald ponds are stocked with trout in the fall. McDonald Pond has plentiful small sunfish that will give kids plenty of action. Boating is permitted on Hempstead Lake with a park permit. A wheelchair accessible pavement path surrounds McDonald Pond. Visit the website listed in the right column for more information.

Blydenburgh Lake (also called New Mill Pond or Stump Pond)

This lake is within Blydenburgh County Park, Smithtown (Suffolk County). Entrances are located off Rt. 454, Hauppauge, and New Mill Road, Smithtown. Blydenburgh Lake provides excellent fishing for largemouth bass, yellow perch and sunfish. Fishing from shore is available at numerous spots around the lake, and rowboats can be rented from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Visit the website listed in the right column for more information.

Baisely Pond

Baisely Pond is located in Baiely Pond Park, Jamaica (Queens County). Largemouth bass, bluegills, pumpkinseeds (sunfish) and black crappie are present. The pond has plentiful weeds which can make fishing difficult in mid-summer. Shoreline access is scattered around the pond. Wheelchair access to the shore is available, but accessible bathrooms are not.

Prospect Park Lake

Prospect Park Lake is located in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, (Kings County). The lake has many quality largemouth bass. In addition, bluegills, pumpkinseeds, and black crappie are plentiful. The lake has plentiful weeds and many open areas along bulkheads to fish from. Wheelchair access to the shore is available, but accessible bathrooms are not.


Chadwick Lake

Chadwick Lake is a 207-acre lake located in Chadwick Lake Park, Newburgh (Orange County). It is a source of drinking water for the Town of Newburgh. Chadwick Lake offers shore fishing and boat rentals (no gas motors). Anglers can expect to catch largemouth bass, bluegill, black crappie, brown bullhead and yellow perch. Wheelchair access to the shore is available. Visit the website listed in the right column for more information.

Morgan Lake

Morgan Lake is located in College Hill City Park, Poughkeepsie (Dutchess County). This 19-acre lake is a great place to introduce someone to the sport of fishing. Morgan Lake offers anglers great shore access, and you can expect to catch a wide variety of fish, including trout, largemouth bass, chain pickerel, common carp and panfish. Shore fishing is available on the south shore off Creek Rd. in College Hill City Park. A fishing pier is also available.

Capital District

Rensselaer Lake (Six Mile Waterworks)

Rensselaer Lake is located off of Fuller Road just north of I-90 in Albany (Albany County). Largemouth bass, black crappie, brown and yellow bullhead, rock bass, yellow perch and bluegills are plentiful. Rainbow trout are stocked in spring.

Collins Lake

Collins Lake is located in Collins Park, Scotia (Schenectady County). Largemouth bass, black crappie, yellow perch, brown bullhead, yellow bullhead, bluegill and pumpkinseed are plentiful. Bluegill and pumpkinseed are the dominant panfish. During the summer, the lake gets very weedy along the shore, which makes shore fishing difficult.


Erie Canal

Lock 20 State Canal Park, Marcy (Oneida County) is one of many good spots to fish along the Mohawk River/Erie Canal. Anglers bank-fish for yellow perch, walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass and tiger musky. A pavilion and restrooms are available.

Sauquoit Creek

Fishing access for Sauquoit Creek can be found at the New Hartford Athletic Park, New Hartford (Oneida County). A wheelchair-accessible fishing platform and additional bank fishing opportunities for brown trout are available. You will also find a pavilion, playground and restrooms.


Onondaga Lake

Onondaga Lake Outlet in Long Branch Park, Geddes (Onondaga County) offers good shore access both to Onondaga Lake and its outlet. This is a good location for black bass, both smallmouth and largemouth, as well as common carp. This area is especially productive during late summer when many fish move from Onondaga Lake and head into the lake outlet. Wheelchair access to the lake shore is available. There is a health advisory on eating fish from this water.

Oneida Lake

Oneida Lake can be easily accessed in Brewerton (Oswego/Onondaga counties). Two access sites exist, one on either side of I-81, and both are wheelchair accessible. These sites allow anglers easy access to both shallow and deep water. Excellent fishing for walleye, black bass, chain pickerel, common carp, channel catfish, sheepshead, bluegills and yellow perch is available. Walleye often bite very well in early fall for anglers fishing after dark with stick baits. Note: This is a fishing access area only with no park facilities nearby.


Susquehanna River

William Hill Park, Westover (Broome County) provides good access to the Susquehanna River. The site is within a mowed flood control corridor that runs along the river for about 0.4 mile. The river is fairly deep along much of the shore providing easy casting to the water, which holds many quality warmwater gamefish.


Hundred Acre Pond, Deep Pond, Round Pond and Lost Pond

All four ponds are located in Mendon Ponds Park, Pittsford (Monroe County). All contain largemouth bass, pumpkinseed, bluegill, yellow perch and brown bullhead. A boat launch is available on Hundred Acre Pond. Visit the website listed in the right column for more information.

Irondequoit Creek

You can find great family friendly fishing access to Irondequoit Creek at Powder Mills Park, Pittsford/Perinton (Monroe County). The creek is stocked with brown trout and rainbow trout (steelhead), and has wild brown trout as well. Fish raised at the Powder Mill Hatchery are stocked in the stream several times in the spring when fishing is best. You can also visit a fish hatchery located in the park. This is a good stream for beginning trout anglers. A popular kids fishing derby is held every year in April. Two fishing platforms provide wheelchair access. Visit the website listed in the right column or the Irondequoit Creek PFR map (PDF) (1.2 mB) for more information.

Buffalo/Niagara Falls

Lake Kirsty

Located at Tifft Nature Preserve, 1200 Fuhrman Blvd. Buffalo (Erie County), Lake Kirsty can be fished from the west, south and east shorelines. This is a great family fishing site where common catches include largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, sunfish, yellow perch and bullhead. A wheelchair accessible fishing platform and restrooms are located at the visitor center. Visit the website listed in the right column for more information.

Hyde Park Lake

Hyde Park Lake is located in Hyde Park, Niagara Falls (Niagara County). Anglers can access this 30-acre lake from grassy shoreline along the entire west side and south end. The lake holds a diverse warmwater community of bass and sunfish. In addition, DEC stocks nearly 1,900 brown trout in Hyde Park Lake each April. Visit the website listed in the right column for more information.