Fishing in NYC Parks

Each year, thousands of birds, turtles and other animals are injured or die after becoming entangled in fishing line or stuck with fishing hooks. The need for animal activists, wildlife rehabilitators, and in some cases park rangers or emplyees to rescue waterfowl from these dangers has become a regular job. 


Bunches of fishing line left on the shore — with or without a hook — can tie ducks, shorebirds and even turtles in knots, while other birds are injured after nibbling a bit of bait left on a hook and swallowing it.  Lead sinkers, too, can poison birds that ingest them. Fishermen also cut lines that get snagged on trees, leaving hooks and lures to drift menacingly in the breeze.


Ingested fishing line can cause intestinal blockage. It will fill up the animal’s stomach preventing it from feeling hunger, causing starvation. Chemicals in the monofilament may poison the animal. Entangled wildlife cannot fly, run, swim, forage for food or protect itself from predators. Once an animal gets ensnared in fishing line, it can tighten to the point where it cuts through the skin and into the bone. Infections incur, circulation is cut off resulting in amputation. The animal can suffer an agonizing death.  Birds often use the line to build nests. Once entangled within the nest, they can’t get out proving deadly for parents and offspring. 

By taking precautions and acting responsibly you can help to make the park a safer place for wildlife and park visitors. LEAVE NO TRACE! 


Report Fishing Violations to the DEC.  Call 1-800-TIPPDEC   1 (800) 847-7332


Abuses to report:   

  • Use of barbed hooks

  • Keeping fish or throwing dead fish back in water

  • Fishing in off limits areas

  • Catching turtles or other wildlife

  • Improper disposal of fishing lines

  • Fishing without a permit

Experienced, passionate, and dedicated wildlife rehabitators are called on daily to nurse an injured animal back to health and with hope re-release into the wild. Please support organizations like the Wild Bird Fund, Empty Cages Collective, and other groups and individual rehabilitators.


Read more at - The Devastating Effect of Fishing Line on Wildlife