(STAFF REPORTS/Chewelah Independent)
A wolf was hit and killed on Highway 395 near Kettle Falls on Saturday (March 27) evening, the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office reported. This comes just before the Department of Fish and Wildlife is set to release their year-end minimum population report for the year of 2020.
This was the second wolf mortality this year. A dispersing collared wolf that Spokane Tribe had collared in the Huckleberry pack territory was found dead near Sprague already this year.
Stevens/Ferry Wildlife Officer Jeff Flood was dispatched by Washington State Patrol at around 6:30 a.m. in the morning. When Flood responded to the area, he confirmed it was an adult male wolf. He contacted the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and removed the wolf from the highway.
WDFW later retrieved the the wolf for biological examination. It is not known what pack the wolf belonged to. Stevens County Sheriff Brad Manke said occasional wolf sightings had been made in the area.
The wolf population count done by WDFW in 2019 said that at least 108 known wolves in 21 known packs including at least 10 breeding pairs reside in the state of Washington with the majority being in NE Washington. The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation reported 37 wolves in five packs.
WDFW will release the year-end minimum population count for 2020 sometime this month.