People may no longer be able to drive on "Geezer Beach"

Bureau looking at possible changes


Fishermen from Quincy try their luck at Geezer Beach on a cold afternoon Dec. 4. When the water level is lower, anglers will often drive their vehicles onto the beach, something the United States Bureau of Reclamation is considering stopping. Grand Coulee Dam can be seen in the background. - Jacob Wagner photo

The Bureau of Reclamation may change rules related to fishing and recreation on "Geezer Beach," a popular spot along the shore behind the Third Powerhouse of the Grand Coulee Dam.

People will often drive their vehicles onto the actual beach to go fishing there during the spring drawdown, something that the bureau may no longer allow, with another alternative being not allowing fishing or recreation there at all.

"Driving and parking on the drawdown can present a public safety risk to drivers and others as these vehicles can become stuck, roll into the reservoir or become abandoned," a press release from the bureau reads.

The bureau will prepare an environmental assessment, required by the National Environmental Policy Act, regarding the possible changes to analyze the potential effects.

One option is that nothing would change, and people would continue to be allowed to drive on the beach. Another option would restrict cars to designating parking areas, and a third option would close the area to fishing and recreation altogether.

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Comments and concerns about the issue can be mailed to Lon Ottosen, the bureau's Natural Resource Specialist, at Lon Ottosen, Bureau of Reclamation, Grand Coulee Power Office, P.O. Box 620, Grand Coulee, WA 99133, or emailed to Comments must be received no later than Dec. 31 in order to be considered.


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