Inflatable Dam Removal Begins Today on Russian River


    View Press Release Archive




    For Immediate Release - January 8, 2018

    Contact: Brad Sherwood, 707.322.8192 (cell),

    Santa Rosa, CA –The Sonoma County Water Agency (Water Agency) today began deflating its rubber dam located in the Russian River near Forestville. The Water Agency routinely deflates the rubber dam when Russian River flows reach 2,000 cubic feet per second in order to prevent damage to the rubber dam from the high flows. Currently, flows are approximately 455 cfs and expected to increase significantly on Tuesday and Wednesday following today’s heavy rains. When completely deflated, the rubber dam rests flat on the bottom of the Russian River.  

    The rubber dam is located just downstream of the Wohler Bridge on the Russian River and is normally raised in the spring or early summer when water demands increase. The rubber dam creates a pool of water that enhances the Water Agency’s well levels in the area.  Permanent fish ladders provide fish passage when the rubber dam is raised. Due to the lowering of the dam, the Water Agency will no longer be able to count the migration of salmon and steelhead with its underwater video system located in the fish ladders. While not all video has been reviewed and verified, this season the Water Agency has counted 1,892 Chinook, 129 steelhead and 60 coho.

    Even with the wet weather, the Water Agency encourages people to continue to use water efficiently.  Now is the time to adjust or deactivate irrigation systems (if you haven’t already done so) and to repair leaky faucets and toilets. Additional water conservation tips are available at the Sonoma Marin Water Saving Partnership website,



    The Sonoma County Water Agency is working to secure our future by investing in our water resources, community and environment.  The Water Agency provides water supply, flood protection and sanitation services for portions of Sonoma and Marin counties. Visit us on the Web at


    << back to All Press Releases