Lake Sonoma is a reservoir west of Healdsburg in northern Sonoma County, California, created by the construction of Warm Springs Dam. Access from U.S. Route 101 is by way of Dry Creek Road from Healdsburg.
The lake provides water for countywide growth and development, and for recreation. At full capacity, it has 50 miles (80 km) of shoreline, a surface area of more than 2,700 acres (11 km2), and holds 381,000 acre feet (470,000,000 m3) of water. Activities include boating, swimming, fishing, riding, hiking, camping, and hunting. Notable features include the Milt Brandt Visitor Center, the adjacent Congressman Don Clausen Fish Hatchery, and the Warm Springs Recreation Area below the dam.
The US Army Corps of Engineers built Warm Springs Dam across Dry Creek. Completed in 1982, this rolled-earth embankment dam is 319 ft (97 m) high, 3,000 ft (900 m) long, and 30 ft (9 m) wide at the top. It contains 30,000,000 cu yd (23,000,000 m3) of earth. The dam aids in flood control, and a hydroelectric plant produces electricity from the water released downstream. A minimum amount of flow must be maintained in Dry Creek to allow fish migration.
Pomo people had lived in the Dry Creek area since at least the 18th century, and some of them resisted the creation of the lake. Archaeologists at Sonoma State University have written about the prehistory and history of Warm Springs Dam, Lake Sonoma, and the Dry Creek Valley.
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