(Photos: 1- New Fishing Rules signs at Harlem Meer in Central Park. 2-- Dead fish on rock at the Boat Lake this past summer. When informed that it was "catch and release" fishing only at Central Park, the fishermen threw the dead fish back into water. 3-- A now very happy "Wiggly" at Harlem Meer.)
It appears the days of "anything goes" insofar as unrestrained, injurious and unmonitored fishing in Central Park are over.
Not only have new signs been erected at Harlem Meer (and hopefully elsewhere in the park), but police patrols have been vigilant in terms of enforcement and even checking bags of fisherman. (Hats off to New York City's finest!)
According to my friend, Lianna who regularly monitors the Boat Lake, a policeman informed a fisherman yesterday that fishing was no longer permitted at the Boat Lake because of the danger to Snapping Turtles who are a "federally protected species."
Apparently a Snapping Turtle was recently ensnared by fishing line at the Boat Lake.
Although I normally don't visit the Boat Lake as often as Harlem Meer, this past summer, I witnessed and reported numerous fishing abuses there, including the keeping of fish, fishing line around a tree branch, illegal trespassing, use of barbed hooks and returning dead fish back to water
I don't know for certain that fishing has been disallowed at the Boat Lake, but if true, it is a very positive development.
It has taken a long time to get the changes necessary for the protection of wildlife in New York City's premier park. But, it appears now that the rules are clearly in place and will finally be enforced.
Hopefully, we who value and appreciate the wildlife in our beloved park will no longer have to bear witness to birds or turtles ensnared in fishing line or dying as result of lead poisoning or ingestion of fishing tackle.
These are peaceful days for the wildlife of Central Park -- that only Brad and Danny were still around to enjoy them. -- PCA