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Houghton Lake has one of the most diverse and

abundant fish populations of any lake in Michigan.

Since the 1930's, the Department of Natural

Resources has identified 39 different species of

fish in Houghton Lake including sunfish, perch,

northern pike, walleye, and largemouth and

smallmouth bass. However, the lake is too warm

during the summer months to sustain coldwater

fish species such as trout. Since 1994, Houghton

Lake has had over 330 entries in the Department

of Natural Resources Master Anglers Program

including a 21-pound northern pike caught in 2003,

a 30-inch walleye caught in 2004, and a 14-inch

black crappie caught in 2004. Since 1979, the

Department of Natural Resources has stocked

over 1.9 million walleye in Houghton Lake ranging

in size from fingerlings to 6-inches.

The fishery in Houghton Lake has been studied

extensively. A study completed by the Department

of Natural Resources in 2004 found that the fishery

in Houghton Lake in 2001- 2002 was very similar

to the fishery in 1957-1961. In particular, the report

noted that the walleye fishery in Houghton Lake is

healthy and that the northern pike population was also fairly healthy.

In April and June of 2007, the DNR surveyed Houghton Lake to evaluate the fish community. 

A report of results stated:
Bluegill sizes and growth rates ranged from Satisfactory to Superior in all years between 1972 and 2007. Catch rates in trap nets have increased steadily since 1983. This is inconsistent with angler reports of poor bluegill catches during recent years. Other

panfish also appear to have good size structure and large mean sizes. The panfish populations appear in good condition with no substantial changes since 1972.

Overall, the fisheries of Houghton Lake are dominated by panfish, walleye, and northern pike. The 2007 survey indicates stable or increasing abundance of these species. Substantial changes in growth rates and sizes were not evident.

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