More than 20 wolves as well as a new pack and possible other one are roaming the Colville Reservation in North-central and Northeast Washington, a fair jump over 2016’s minimum count.
According to the tribes’ Fish and Wildlife Department, a recent aerial count found eight wolves in the Strawberry Pack, seven in the Nc’icn Pack, six in the new Frosty Meadows Pack and five in the Whitestone Pack.
All four were reported as breeding packs.
“There is a suspected Disautel Pack as well,” managers reported in the Facebook post last week.
Disautel is in the western half of the reservation, Frosty Meadows the east.
Separately, WDFW reported four wolves in the Beaver Creek Pack to the north of the western end of the reservation.
The figures will be included when WDFW’s Donny Martorello presents the 2017 year-end count for the entire state to the Fish and Wildlife Commission this weekend.
In last March’s update, there were a reported minimum of 14 wolves in the three known Colville Reservation packs, including seven in Strawberry, five in Nc’icn and two in Whitestone.
Tribal managers also reported that a wolf had been legally harvested from each of the Strawberry, Whitestone and Frosty Meadows Packs. They’d announced the hunt was closed in late February because the annual quota had been met.
The news rererererereconfirms that wolves are doing quite well in the state’s northeastern corner.
Of note, the recently passed state budget includes $183,000 to study moving wolves from this country to elsewhere in Washington, according to the Capital Press.
Translocation was the subject of a bill sponsored by area Rep. Joel Kretz. It passed the House, and though it stalled in the Senate, was carried into the final budget, the ag world outlet reported.