Places We Protect

Lulu Lake Preserve


A small stream running through thick grass dotted with yellow wildflowers.
Lulu Lake Preserve Crooked Creek in Lulu Lake Preserve, Wisconsin. © Gerald H. Emmerich, Jr.

Lulu Lake Preserve in the southern Kettle Moraine is home to wetlands, oak openings and rare fish and mussels.



Why You Should Visit

Lulu Lake glitters amidst the rich marshes of the upper Mukwonago River watershed. When viewed through the lens of species richness and water quality, this 95-acre kettle lake (a lake created by the glaciers) and its watershed comprise one of Wisconsin's highest quality natural areas.


For more information about on the preserve itself contact the Conservancy's local office:

N8740 Pickeral Lake Rd.
East Troy WI 53120-1836

Why TNC Selected This Site

Because of the high-quality stream surrounded by wetlands and oak openings, which provides habitat for rare fish, mussels and plants.

An oak opening is dominated by clustered, open-grown bur oaks and white oaks, and shagbark hickory. The ground is covered with prairie and forest plants.

Before agricultural settlement there were more than 5.5 million acres of oak openings in Wisconsin. Today only about 500 acres survive. Between 50-80 of these acres are found around Lulu Lake. The Conservancy is using fire and manual removal of non-native plants to restore and maintain them. 

Scientific researchers interested in several topics — oak openings; the hydrology of sedge meadows and fens; and rare species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and butterflies — have used the preserve as an outdoor laboratory.

What TNC Has Done/Is Doing

The Conservancy made its first acquisition at Lulu Lake in 1986 and, as of today, has protected a total of 1,051 acres by partnering with private individuals and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources State Natural Areas Program.

We have expanded our work in this area to include the entire Mukwonago River Watershed.  We have an office and staff in the East Troy area and are working cooperatively with many different public and private partners to accomplish the following:

  • Protect the water quality of and natural areas within the Mukwonago River Watershed.
  • Manage our preserves to maintain rare natural communities and provide habitat for fish, mussels, amphibians and reptiles. This includes removing Eurasian water-milfoil and other aquatic invasive species.
  • Work with individuals and organizations concerned with the health of the watershed to help balance watershed protection with human needs and economic health.




Open year round, dawn to dusk


632 acres

Explore our work in this region

What to See: Plants

Surrounding the lake and along the river are various types of wetlands including fens, bogs and sedge meadows. On the higher ground, you will find prairie remnants and oak openings. In early summer, shooting stars and other wildflowers are abundant.

The northern kittentail is this preserve's most endangered plant. In the spring, this plant produces foot-high flowering stems resembling — you guessed it — the tail of a young feline.

What to See: Birds, Fish

Fish: Of the 150 fish species native to Wisconsin, 59 can be found in Lulu Lake and the Mukwonago River! The river is home to several rare fish species, including the longear sunfish. The clear, deep lake water provides habitat for glacial relict fish such as the blackchin shiner and the Iowa darter

Birds: Other significant species are Cooper's hawks, migrating ospreys and nesting pairs of sandhill cranes.

Lulu Lake has yet to be thoroughly inventoried, so other rare species may be present. Several plant and animal inventories are currently underway.

All of our preserve maps are now georeferenced. You can download an app on your Apple or Android device, and it will allow you to view your location, record GPS tracks, add placemarks and find places.