Carrie Lake is a medium-depth, small lake located 4 miles south of Atwater, Minnesota. Its watershed is primarily composed of agricultural land cover. The Gennesse Wildlife Management Area is located on the southern shoreline. The remaining near-shore area is primarily wooded with some cabins and homes.
Historically, the lake has had little to no submerged vegetation. With the introduction of Curly-leaf Pondweed and the discovery of Sago pondweed, this trend may be changing.
With at least 22 species, the lakes fish community is fairly diverse. While both Bullheads and Carp are abundant, current trends indicate that Carp are increasing while Bullheads are decreasing. The game fish community is composed primarily of Centrarchids (Bass, Crappie, and Sunfish), though Walleye and Northern Pike are also present.
Carrie Lake was chosen as a Sentinel Lake because it is a mildly eutrophic lake in the Western Corn Belt Plains and in contrast to most lakes in this region, its depth leads to summer thermal stratification.