NEW YORK—It may be a rare sight to see people fishing in Central Park, but at Harlem Meer in the northeast corner of the park everyone is invited to come cast a line. If you catch a fish, however, you’ll need to release it back into the lake.
Fishing at Harlem Meer is free for families and individuals, but groups larger than five will need to reserve a spot two weeks in advance. Fishing poles are also available to borrow from the Charles A. Dana Center, which is on the north shore of the lake.
The lake is actually home to a wide variety of fish, including largemouth bass, pumpkinseed sunfish, bluegill sunfish, carp, and chain pickerel, according to the Central Park website.
Fishing is open from April 16–October 5, Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m, and on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Parks officials ask everyone to “release fish gently,” which includes wetting your hands before handling the fish, and preferably releasing the fish while it is underwater. Barbed hooks and lead sinkers are also prohibited, to protect the wildlife.
Nobody from the Central Park Conservancy was available for comment due to the weekend schedule.