The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has extended the closure of four water access sites along the Columbia River behind Wanapum Dam through Oct. 31, while work continues to repair a fractured spillway, the agency said in a press release.

WDFW officials closed the sites and access to the beach in March, after the Grant County Public Utility District drew Wanapum Reservoir down to record levels to relieve pressure on the dam.

Jim Brown, WDFW regional director for North Central Washington, said the extended closure is necessary to protect public safety, fish habitat, and archeological and cultural resources. The closures affect the Yo Yo, Old Vantage Highway, Sunland Estates and Frenchman Coulee water access sites.

The upland portions of the wildlife areas above the ordinary high-water level remain open to the public, Brown said. Grant County PUD has also closed 38 miles of shorelines it owns stretching from above Wanapum Dam to below Rock Island Dam. Washington State Parks also has closed Wanapum State Park near Vantage.