The Sonoma County Water Agency has inflated its rubber dam on the Russian River near Forestville, creating a temporary reservoir to help meet the summertime needs of more than 600,000 water customers in Sonoma and Marin counties.

Anglers are required by state authorities to stay at least 250 feet away from the dam both upstream and downstream. Swimmers may not approach or touch the dam. Boaters heading downstream are required to remove their crafts from the water at Wohler Bridge and portage around the dam.

The water that backs up behind the dam floods several retention ponds and recharges the groundwater that feeds the agency's drinking water wells in the area.

The dam will remain in place through the dry season and is deflated when rains return in the autumn and winter, increasing the river's flow and recharging the groundwater naturally.

For more information on the dam, visit