Roscommon County First Responders Experience Busy Weekend on Houghton Lake

It was a rough weekend out on Houghton Lake as crowds arrived for the annual Tip-Up-Town festival.

Several snowmobiles and other vehicles broke through the ice.

The sheriff’s office says there are still soft spots out on the lake that cannot hold vehicles right now.

Fortunately, no one was hurt this weekend and the sheriff hopes this serves as a reminder to check on lake conditions before heading out.

The Roscommon County Sheriff’s Office released pictures last week showing areas that could cause trouble for people out on Houghton Lake the first weekend of Tip-Up-Town. Sheriff Ed Stern says even so, they responded to 7 snowmobiles, 1 side-by-side and 1 truck that all went through the ice.

“I would have to say they assumed it was all thick ice and then once they hit the soft spot and broke through they’re standing in anywhere from 4 to 5 feet of water,” Stern said.

Tip-Up-Town organizers say with another busy festival weekend to go, it’s a good idea to check with locals if you’re unfamiliar with the lake.

“The ice on that lake is just not thick enough for certain vehicles. Any visitors to our community should probably check with local bait shops and locals. Check to see where the bad spots are, because they’re here and there and you’re not going to see them until you’re on top of them and you’re in it,” said Jay Jacobs, executive director of the Houghton Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.

A message echoed by the sheriff.

“My biggest recommendation is do your research. Ask around if you’re not familiar with the lake, if you’re new to the area find out where these problem areas are and stay away from them. Your local bait shops, your local restaurants, your local fishermen, they all know where these areas are,” Stern said.

You can find online resources here and here.