Fishing in Pond in Public Garden

by Terri

Boys fishing (background) from bridge in Boston's Back Bay Fens

Boys fishing (background) from bridge in Boston's Back Bay Fens

Question: Our 12-year old wonders if there are fish in the pond with the swans in Boston Garden? He loves to fish. We will be visiting Boston in June.

Susan's answer: Terri, thanks for asking. Although the pond in the Public Garden isn't a good fishing spot, I can tell you about a couple of other places that are - although you shouldn't eat the fish!

The pond in Boston's Public Garden is actually an artificial lagoon, and is only 3-4 feet deep in most places. As far as I know, it doesn't have any fish in it - at least, I've never seen any. The Lagoon gets drained every winter, and fills up with snow and ice.

However, Muddy River in Back Bay Fens, which is near Northeastern University, the Museum of Fine Arts, and Fenway Park, does have fish in it and people do fish for them. I added the above photo, which shows a footbridge over the "river" (it's more like a small stream in this spot). The boys behind the bicyclist were fishing, and as I walked by after snapping this photo, showed me the fish they'd caught - about 12 inches long. They didn't know what it was, nor did I. They were planning to throw it back in, which is a good thing - the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Environmental Protection has signs along Muddy River (which winds its way from Jamaica Pond to the Charles River) warning people to not each the fish. I would imagine that the water is fairly polluted.

Another place that your son might want to fish is in the Charles River along the Esplanade. My daughters sail and kayak here, and claim to see "huge" fish when they occasionally capsize and end up in the water along with the fish. Although you should take my daughters' description of their size with a grain of salt, fish do live in the Charles, and you may see others fishing for them from along the river bank. I'm not sure if fish from the Charles River are OK to eat, but personally, I wouldn't.

Have a great time on your visit to Boston in June, and good luck to your son with the fishing!


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