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Lake Information for Houghton Lake


Houghton Lake is a large lake in Roscommon County. The unincorporated community of Prudenville is at the southeastern end of the lake, while the unincorporated communities of Houghton Lake and Houghton Lake Heights are on the southwest and west shores. It is the largest inland lake in the state of Michigan, and one of the largest natural inland lakes in the United States (many man-made impoundments are much larger). The lake is approximately 7 1/2 miles (12 km) north to south, and about 4 1/2 miles (7 km) at it widest point. Houghton Lake has 30 miles (48 km) of total shoreline and its waters cover 20,044 acres (81 kmĀ²). It is an extremely popular resort and fishing area 12 months of the year. Houghton Lake is the site of Tip-Up-Town USA, a large ice fishing and winter sports festival with several events on the frozen waters of the lake itself. Houghton Lake is named after the first state geologist, Douglass Houghton who explored the area.[1]

The lake receives the waters of Higgins Lake through the Cut River and, in turn, is the headwaters for the Muskegon River, which flows out of the North Bay in the northwest corner of the lake. The lake is partially within four townships: Markey Township on the northeast, Denton Township on the southeast, Roscommon Township on the southwest, and Lake Township on the northwest. The lake is mid to late mesotrophic in profile, and considered a warm water, shallow lake, with the average depth being 7 1/2 feet. The deepest spot is a small hole in East Bay that has been sounded to 22 feet (6.7 m), but it is rare to encounter depths of greater than 17 feet (5.2 m) in the lake.

Facilities and Parks: 

There are 5 boat ramps/access points for the lake.

Fishing Description: 

Common catches include northern pike, bluegill, walleye, crappie, yellow perch, and largemouth and smallmouth bass.

Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Optional Information
Maximum depth: 
Surface area: 
Houghton Lake
Lake type: 

Businesses Located Nearby

Bait & Tackle

    Deadsteam Party Store
  • 2506 N Harrison Rd - Houghton Lake, MI
  • (989) 422-6985

Boat Rental

    Brian's Small Engine
  • 6807 W Houghton Lake Dr - Houghton Lake, MI
  • (989) 422-5774

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