Rod, Reel and City
Q. I noticed some people fishing in the pond in Central Park near Fifth Avenue and Central Park South. Is fishing allowed there, or anywhere, in Central Park?
A. Yes, but leave the barbed hooks at home. Fishing is allowed in the Central Park Pond (the one you mentioned), Central Park Lake (near West 72nd Street) and the Harlem Meer on the north end (but not the Reservoir). As with all freshwater fishing in the city, it’s catch-and-release only — no barbed hooks, no lead weights.
Anyone 16 or older who wants to fish needs a state freshwater fishing license from the Department of Environmental Conservation. Younger children don’t need a license, but they must still follow the city rules.
F.Y.I. wrote about the excellent bass fishing in Prospect Park Lake in Brooklyn last spring, but in fact, there are legal fishing spots in all five boroughs. A list of city fishing areas, with maps, is at www.dec.ny.gov/docs/regions _pdf/nycfish.pdf.
Winter fishing is allowed, says Warner Johnston, a spokesman for the Parks Department, but he adds: “We don’t advise that anyone make any holes into the ice. When (and if) the weather gets cold, we make announcements for ice skating on certain ponds throughout the five boroughs, but we would not want to affect the integrity of the ice with holes.”
F.Y.I. By MICHAEL POLLAK