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Oakland Lake

A spring fed glacial kettle pond, Oakland Lake is one of the few natural lakes within the 5 boroughs of New York City. At a maximum depth of 20 feet, it is a bit deeper than most of the other lakes in the city. It is part of Alley Pond Park in northeast Queens. Bass are numerous, and many large specimens were caught during a recent survey. Pickerel and large sunfish are also plentiful.

Physical Features:

Elevation: 60 feet
Area: 10.46 acres
Shoreline Length: 0.75 miles
Maximum depth: 20 feet


Oakland Lake is located north and adjacent to Queensborough Community College in Queens.

Public Transportation

Take a train or bus to Time Sq 42nd St, Manhattan. Take a 7 train to the last stop, Flushing- Main St. Exit and walk down Roosevelt Ave between Main St and Union St and transfer to the N20-21 bus. Exit at Northern Blvd, Flushing. Walk south on 223rd St to the lake.

Fish Species:

American eel, Black crappie, Bluegill, Brown bullhead, Chain pickerel, Largemouth bass, Pumpkinseed. For more information on these fish species, visit the page on Freshwater Fishes.


To catch a good-sized largemouth bass, try a soft plastic bait like a plastic worm, Texas or wacky rigged. In summer try reaction baits such as topwater lures, crankbaits, jerk baits, spinnerbaits, or swimbaits- these will work for pickerel as well. Bluegill, pumpkinseed and bullhead can be caught using a bobber and live worms. Remember to tamp down all barbs on hooks as New York City regulations require the use of barbless hooks.


Special regulations apply. See the Freshwater Fishing Regulation Guide (PDF).

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

Fisheries Survey and Technical Brief:

A boat electrofishing survey of Oakland Lake was executed in fall, 2017. Fish species captured and observed were largemouth bass, chain pickerel, brown bullhead, pumpkinseed and bluegill sunfish, black crappie, American eel, and common carp. Largemouth bass catch rate was low relative to other NYC water bodies but relative weight and size indices indicate a healthy fish population exists. It is possible excessive aquatic vegetation hindered capture of a significant number of fish. Read the full technical brief here.

Largemouth Bass Catch/Hour for Eight New York Water Bodies (table updated 2019)
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