HOUGHTON LAKE - For over 6 decades the Houghton Lake Area has been home to Tip-Up Town USA, the internationally-known ice carnival that takes its name from the iconic “tip-up” used in ice fishing.

For several decades, the Houghton Lake Lake Association (HLLA) has worked with the Houghton Lake Chamber of Commerce and other organizations to ensure ice fishing remains an important part of this fun, two-weekend celebration of winter and all things icy.

The HLLA sponsors and runs the Ice Fishing Contest, and the Official Fish Station will be open both weekends, Jan. 26-27. Saturday hours are from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., and Sunday hours are 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Entrants must be in line by 1 p.m. on Sunday. All fish entered must be caught from Houghton Lake during the Tip-Up Town USA 2019 weekends, from Friday – Sunday.

Each weekend is a separate contest. All entries will be weighed in on a stringer supplied at the Official Weigh Station at the time of entry.  All rules and categories will be posted at the site, and all current State fishing regulations apply except for the following: All panfish must be a minimum of (7) seven inches in length.

This winter, the lake ice conditions have been dangerous in many areas, and the HLLA urges all anglers and Tip-Up Town USA participants to use extreme caution whenever they venture onto the ice.

Check the DNR website, the local bait shops, local fisherman’s Facebook pages, and stay safe! Conditions change daily. Much of the lake has 8”-10” of safe ice but be aware that large portions of the lake may be open water, and other areas may have thin ice.

Be smart, be safe, and have fun!