Red Sand Lake is a medium-sized, shallow lake located just north of Baxter, MN. The lakeshore is quite developed and the watershed is small relative to its surface area (5.5:1). Land use is dominated by forested, wetland and water land uses, typical for a lake in the Northern Lakes and Forests ecoregion. The lake drains to White Sand Lake via an outlet structure. Fluctuating water level has historically been a problem on Red Sand Lake.
The aquatic plant community is abundant and moderately diverse, covering almost 100% of the lake bottom. Curlyleaf Pondweed is present in the lake, though because the lake has moderate nutrient levels, it is not expected to become a nuisance.
The fish community is comprised of cool- and warm-water species including Walleye, Northern Pike, Yellow Perch, Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, Black Crappie, and Black Bullhead. Red Sand has been known to at least partially winterkill on regular basis, the last time being during the winter of 2013-2014.
Red Lake was selected as a Sentinel Lake because it is an example of a shallow lake in the Northern Lakes and Forests ecoregion with moderate nutrient levels.