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March 31, 2015
Contact: Jim Brown, 509-754-4624

WDFW reopens boat launches,
Wanapum water levels normal

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will reopen two boat launches and nearly 20 miles of the remaining shoreline above the Wanapum reservoir to public use April 1, when water levels will be restored to normal levels.

Sunland Estates and Yo Yo Rock boat ramps near Vantage were among dozens of recreational sites closed to public access over the past year after the Grant County Public Utility District lowered water levels 26 feet to repair a fractured spillway at Wanapum Dam.

Since stabilizing the dam, the utility has been raising water levels and restoring public access to areas of the 37-mile-long reservoir since January. Only now, however, has the water risen high enough to open the shoreline farther north in the Quilomene area to the public, said Jim Brown, WDFW regional director for northcentral Washington.

"Grant PUD deserves a lot of credit for meeting deadlines and working in cooperation with everyone involved in this project," Brown said. "The PUD said water levels would be high enough for us to reopen our facilities by April 1, and the utility has followed through on that commitment."

Brown noted that WDFW made major improvements to the Sunland Estates and Yo Yo boat launches while water levels were low, installing armor matting at the end of those ramps to provide a smooth launch surface.

For more information about developments at Wanapum reservoir, see Grant County PUD's website at http://www.grantpud.org/your-pud/media-room/wanapum-dam-spillway-response.