With Memorial Day weekend drawing near, Grant PUD and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife remind visitors that the Wanapum reservoir shoreline remains closed to the public.
The utility, working in conjunction with Fish and Wildlife, has closed the shoreline, beaches, boat launches and all shoreline access points to the reservoir, which runs about 37 river miles between Wanapum Dam and Rock Island Dam on the Columbia River in Central Washington.
Grant PUD sites that are closed include: Vantage Recreation Area; Kittitas County Boat Launch; Rocky Coulee; Sand Hollow; The Cove; Apricot Orchard; Crescent Bar Boat Launch and shoreline area; Wanapum Upper Boat Launch; and Wanapum Heritage Center.
Fish and Wildlife horeline sites that are closed include Yo Yo Rock; Old Vantage Highway; Sunland Estates Boat Launch; and Frenchman Coulee/Climbing Rocks water access sites.
Fish and Wildlife also has closed the lower ends of roads that lead into the reservoir at the Colockum and L.T. Murray wildlife areas in Kittitas and Chelan counties and at the Columbia Basin Wildlife Area in Grant County. The upland portions of the wildlife areas above the ordinary high-water level remain open to the public. Washington State Parks has closed the Wanapum Recreation Area near Vantage.
The shoreline was closed after the reservoir was drawn down in response to a crack found Feb. 27 on the Wanapum Dam spillway. The shoreline is expected to be closed at least through the July 4th weekend.
There are several recreation sites open on the Priest Rapids reservoir on the Columbia River downstream of Wanapum Dam, including Priest Rapids Recreation Area, and the Wanapum Lower Boat Launch. The utility also plans to open the Huntzinger Boat Launch on May 23, which will provide access to the Priest Rapids reservoir.
A full list of sites that are open and closed, along with directions and information, can be found on Grant PUDs website www.grantpud.org.