Taking little kids fishing is one of those ideas that often sounds better than the reality of it. And then there’s the version where you take your kids to a stocked pond, rent fishing poles and leave with 1/2 dozen fresh fish all caught within about an hour. That’s the version we did at Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery.
Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery is a non-profit educational center in Long Island. This quaint little facility has two aquarium buildings and eight outdoor ponds where they farm trout. We drove from upper Manhattan, it took us about an hour.
The Hatchery itself was a really fun place where our family and some of our best friends took our kids to spend an afternoon together. We toured the small grounds and visited the buildings dedicated to what they boast as the largest living collection of New York State freshwater reptiles, fish and amphibians. We found it interesting and informative, but not necessarily something we’d come back for.
Afterwards we fed the fish and turtles which was quite exciting, they went crazy over the food. Soon we were ready to try their ‘Catch & Keep’ fishing option. For this we rented poles there, bought a dish of worms from them and taught our 3 year old little girls how to bait a hook, cast a line and catch a fish. There was a whole range of emotions going on between the little girls but mostly it was enthusiasm and excitement. We managed to catch 7 small trout within about 45 minutes. You have to keep what you catch and pay per fish. We called it a day after catching seven and headed back to NYC with dreams of a fish fry that night. It ended up taking what felt like a decade to clean the fish and we ended up with just ounces of meat…so the fish fry ended up being a fail. But the adventure was definitely a big win.
The Hatchery is located at:1660 NY-25A, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724
Open Daily: 10am – 5pm
Closed: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day & Easter Sunday
June, July & August: Saturdays & Sundays: 10am – 6pm
Children: Ages 3 – 12: $4.00 / 2 & Under: FREE
Adults: $6.00 65 +: $4.00
Fishing NOT offered on Wednesdays & Thursdays
June, July & August: Sat. & Sun. Additional Session 4pm-6pm
Spaces available on a first-come, first-served basis. No reservations.
Admission + $5/session.
All trout caught MUST be kept and are $4 per fish.
Call (516) 692-6768 for more information.
- Expect to spend no more than two hours here.
- Bring a cooler to transport your fish home.
- They have clean restrooms and a gift shop.
- You can bring your own fishing equipment or rent from the Hatchery.
- You can buy bait at the Hatchery.