Something Fishy is Happening in Highland Park

Pittsburgh now has a place where urban anglers can relax and reel in some catfish.

photo: google maps


Highland Park’s Carnegie Lake has gone through several changes since it opened in the 1870s. When it was built, it was to be a juncture in the city’s water supply; later, it became a boating hotspot and then a swimming pool.

Now, for the first time in more than 20 years, Carnegie Lake is open for fishing.

In mid-June, Carnegie Lake was stocked with channel catfish, largemouth bass and bluegill, one of the last steps in a two-year effort to restore the pond by the Pittsburgh Parks Conservatory and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Carnegie Lake was originally built to serve as a halfway point for water pumped from the Allegheny River en route to a reservoir, according to the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. Improvements in pumping technology made it obsolete, however, before it even opened. The lake was mainly used for boating until 1932, when half of its space was converted into a swimming pool and the bottom was covered with cement.

The lake fell into disrepair, but is now being revitalized as part of the Conservancy’s 2000 Regional Parks Master Plan. The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority also contributed to Carnegie Lake’s restoration, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, installing aerators to improve water quality for fish.

The first fishing event at the lake, a children’s derby organized by the Let’s Go Fishing Club, took place on June 23. The club also plans to provide free fishing rods and bait to visitors under 16 years old on Wednesdays and Saturdays through September 1st.