Lake Keesus, Wisconsin, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Wisconsin - Southern Savanna Region -

Also known as:  Keesus Lake

Lake Keesus is in the Southern Savanna region of Wisconsin, where suburbia in the east meets rural life in the west. Northwest of Waukesha County, where Lake Keesus is located, is lake country, dominated by eight large lakes. Only 20 minutes away from Milwaukee in Waukesha County; Lake Keesus is in the Town of Merton.

With its five mile shoreline, Lake Keesus has been open to the public only since 1999. Surrounded by agricultural enterprises, the lake has more than 200 homes built on its shores; a public launch provides access to non-resident visitors. The Lake Keesus Advancement Association, which has represented the residents on the lake since 1930, sponsors various social events throughout the year including fish fries, parades and holiday parties.

Keesus Lake, a spring-fed lake, is 237 acres. A great lake for anglers, it has natural populations of bass, northern pike, crappie, bluegill, perch and sunfish and the DNR has been stocking walleyes since 1999. The chilly winters are no deterrent; ice fishing is popular here too. Be aware that on all days there is a slow-no-wake speed restriction for the hours before 9am and after sundown.

Lake Keesus has an irregular shoreline that loops in and out, created by the long bays that stretch out from the lake: Bull’s Bay, Rice Bay, Marquardt’s Bay, Marshall Bay, and North Bay. It is advised that all boat traffic in the bays should flow in a counter-clockwise direction.

All kinds of watersports are permitted at Lake Keesus. Along with fishing and boating, waterskiing is very popular. In the area, you will occasion upon good opportunities to view wildlife. White tailed deer, muskrat, beaver, fox, mink, squirrel, and rabbits inhabit the area. Sandhill cranes and loons visit the lake when migrating. Osprey, bald eagles, falcons, endangered barn owls, and threatened red-shouldered hawks are some of the birds you might see and mallards, wood ducks, and blue-winged teal are common.

Merton is a quiet, rural town and a gateway to unique nature experiences, golfing and community parks. An exceptional experience for the children may be Camp Whitcomb/Mason which sits on Lake Keesus and is an accredited camp owned by the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee. It offers an overnight and day camp program, and otherwise provides its lodge, pavilion and cabin facilities for rent throughout the year.

Beyond Merton, at just a short distance, there is much more to intrigue the curious mind. Traverse the Ice Age National Scenic Trail through the Kettle Moraine State Forest, through vast prairies and grasslands. Visit the Old World Wisconsin, the Midwest’s largest living history museum located on over 500 acres of wetland, prairie and woodland. The living museum features hiking trails, natural areas and village and farmstead restorations.

At Lake Keesus you can take your pick from a series of exciting or relaxing options. Watch the intriguing activities of birds and admire your surrounding natural beauty. Test your fisherman’s luck with bass and walleye. Embark on an exciting boating adventure exploring the five bays. Spend a perfect afternoon on your pontoon or sailboat with nothing on your mind except the glisten of the water and the fresh scents of the Wisconsin countryside.

Things to do at Lake Keesus

  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Water Skiing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Forest
  • Museum

Fish species found at Lake Keesus

  • Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye

Lake Keesus Photo Gallery

    Lake Keesus Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

    Water Level Control: Lake Keesus Management District

    Surface Area: 237 acres

    Shoreline Length: 5 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 957 feet

    Average Depth: 17 feet

    Maximum Depth: 42 feet

    Water Volume: 3,958 acre-feet

    Drainage Area: 4 sq. miles

    Trophic State: Mesotrophic

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    Trophic State | LakeLubbers

    Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

    An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

    A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

    A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

    The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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    Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

    Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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    Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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    Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

    Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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    Completion Year | LakeLubbers

    This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

    The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

    You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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    Water Volume | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

    You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

    Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

    1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

    The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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    Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

    You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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    Average Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

    Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

    Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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    Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

    At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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    Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

    Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

    When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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    Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

    You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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    Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

    This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

    A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

    When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

    You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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    Surface Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

    The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

    You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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    Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

    This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

    Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

    "Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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    Lake Type | LakeLubbers

    There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

    - A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

    - A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

    - A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

    "Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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