The earthen dam was constructed in 1965 by the Nevada Irrigation District, with a height of 228 feet, and a length of 1840 feet at its crest. It impounds the Bear River, a tributary of the Feather River, for hydropower, flood control, irrigation water storage, and municipal water use. The dam is one of the ten facilities owned and operated by the Nevada Irrigation District. The dam is part of the Yuba-Bear Hydroelectric Project.
The reservoir it creates, Rollins Reservoir, has a normal water surface of 1.3 square miles, and a maximum capacity of 66,000 acre-feet. Recreation includes trout fishing in the spring, and bass fishing in the summer.