FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 7, 2015
Wanapum Reservoir to reopen at noon on Jan. 7
Public access restored to most areas of the shoreline
EPHRATA, Wash.— After Grant PUD raised the Wanapum reservoir by 17 feet in December, the utility, the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife and Washington State Parks have determined that the reservoir can reopen to the public at noon on Wednesday, Jan. 7.
Working in conjunction with other hydroelectric operators on the Columbia River, Grant PUD began raising the reservoir on Nov. 25 and finished on Dec. 1. After a thorough evaluation, the utility will restore public access to most of the shoreline.
Two boat launches are operational at the current river level – Grant PUD’s Wanapum Upper Boat Launch and the watercraft launch at Wanapum State Park just south of Vantage. With the reopening of the reservoir, Washington State Parks will open the Wanapum State Park launch for daily access from 8 a.m. to dusk. Camping at the park remains on its regular winter schedule, open for camping only on weekends and holidays until March 1. The park will resume a daily operating schedule for campground and day use facilities after March 1, for the 2015 season.
The following recreation-site locations on the reservoir remain closed because of inoperable boat launches, unstable shorelines or ongoing recreation site improvements:
- Sand Hollow Recreation Area
- Vantage Boat Launch and Day-Use Area
- Frenchman Coulee Boat Launch
- Sunland Boat Launch
- Yo Yo Rock Boat Launch and Recreation Area
- Quilomene Dune and Bay
- West Bar
- Crescent Bar Boat Launch and portions of Crescent Bar Island
- Grant PUD property in the Tarpiscan Creek area
- Grant PUD property off Columbia Siding Road
Closed shoreline areas are marked with no trespassing signs. To ensure public safety, Grant PUD personnel and law enforcement officials will continue to patrol and enforce trespassing laws in these locations.
Those visiting the shoreline and reservoir are cautioned to be aware that sections of the shoreline may still be unstable. Boaters should be mindful of shallow-water hazards and heed all warning signs and barriers near the dam. Grant PUD continues to monitor and evaluate conditions on the shoreline and will notify the public if the situation changes.
The entire shoreline and access points were closed to the public last March after Grant PUD had to draw down the reservoir by 26 feet in response to a fracture discovered on the Wanapum Dam Spillway. After completing enough work to stabilize and re-enforce the spillway, the utility received permission from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to raise the reservoir.
Work continues on the Wanapum Dam spillway, and Grant PUD expects to have enough repairs finished to return the reservoir to normal operations by the start of the 2015 recreation season.
For additional information on the Wanapum Dam issue, visit: http://www.grantpud.org/your-pud/media-room/wanapum-dam-spillway-response.
Established by local residents over 75 years ago, Grant PUD generates and delivers energy to millions of customers throughout the Pacific Northwest. What began as a grassroots movement of public power has evolved into one of the premiere providers of renewable energy at some of the most affordable rates in the nation. For more information visit www.grantpud.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Thomas Stredwick or Chuck Allen
(509) 754-5035 / firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Wanapum Upper Boat Launch, which is off Highway 243 just upriver from Wanapum Dam, is one of two launches that will be open and operable on the Wanapum Reservoir when it reopens to the public at noon on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015.
The Vantage Boat Launch is one of the boat launches on the Wanapum Reservoir undergoing construction. It should reopen to the public during late spring of 2015.