Photo courtesy of Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Camera image captures a wolf in Wasco County in early January. Wildlife officials said at least two wolves were confirmed to be in that area. As of Tuesday, no new Hood River County wolf sightings have been confirmed.
As of Wednesday, January 17, 2018
At least two wolves have been sighted in the Cascade Mountains in Wasco County, according to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The wolves were found near the start of January in the southern end of the county, marking the first time multiple wolves have been confirmed in the northern portion of Oregon’s Cascade Mountains since the animals began returning to the state in the 2000s.
Remote camera images and track records contributed to ODFW’s documenting wolves on the White River Wildlife Area and Mt. Hood National Forest, and wolves have also been observed on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation.
Rumors circulated this winter that wolves had been released in Hood River County, which an ODFW specialist said was untrue. Wolves in Oregon migrated from elsewhere or were born in the state, according to ODFW Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Thompson.
Michelle Dennehy with ODFW said as of Tuesday no new sightings have been confirmed in Hood River County.
Dennehy explained via email the trail camera images in Wasco County were taken Jan. 4, and tracks have been noted in the area, including some seen around that date.
Several wolves are known to have moved through Wasco County in the past few years. A single wolf was documented in the White River Unit in December 2013. In May 2015, a single wolf from the Imnaha pack travelled through the area on his path to Klamath County. Later in 2015, a single wolf was documented in Wasco County.
Wolves in the Mid-Columbia region and anywhere west of Highways 395-78-95 are protected by the federal Endangered Species Act, so U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the lead management agency.
More information about Oregon’s wolf population will be available in March, after ODFW completes its annual winter surveys and minimum population count.