FISHING – A Grand Coulee man has been cited by city police for fishing in an area that’s closed to public access immediately downstream from Grand Coulee Dam.
Water below the dam (flowing into the reservoir called Lake Rufus Woods) was opened to fishing last month for the first time since the 9-11 terrorist attacks, but a stretch of shore below the dam, marked by signs, remains closed for dam security.
- Don't confuse this incident with the issue with the Colville Tribe over Geezer Beach, which is just UPSTREAM from the dam.)
Tyler Mellick was warned for trespassing in the closed area, but returned the next day to make a case for public access and was cited, said Capt. Chris Anderson, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife police supervisor.
“Working with the Colville Tribe, we opened this stretch of water for fishing, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t restrictions to the land and around structures,” he said.
“Mr. Mellick is a Bureau of Reclamation employee who, for some reason, is making this his cause. He’s gone to the sheriff, to WDFW, the media and last I heard he’s going to the U.S. Attorney General’s office. He’s on a mission.”
Anderson said the restricted area is clearly posted.
- See the video Mellick's friends filmed from a distance of the arrest.