UPDATE: State Fish and Wildlife Service worker found dead in Wind River

Cause of death not yet determined; he had been conducting count

By John Branton, Columbian Staff Reporter

Published:

Updated: August 18, 2011, 11:06 PM

 

A man working for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife was found dead Thursday afternoon in the upper Wind River near Beaver Campground, several miles north of Carson along Wind River Road. He had been conducting a fish count.

Mark Snepp, 47, of White Salmon was found face-down in about two feet of slow-moving water, wearing a flotation vest, scuba mask and snorkel, said Undersheriff Dave Cox with the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office.

There was no evidence of trauma on the body, and Cox said officials wonder whether he suffered a sudden medical problem.

Clark County Medical Examiner Dennis Wickham and his staff will conduct an autopsy on an undetermined date, Cox said.

Someone called 911 and notified the sheriff’s office about 1:35 p.m. Thursday.

Cox said Snepp and his partner had been counting fish, likely salmon, just downstream from a salmon hatchery.

Sneep and his partner became separated. The partner, whose name was not immediately available, then found Snepp dead just upstream of where the partner had been working, Cox said.

“We do not know the cause of this unattended death at this point,” Cox said in a bulletin. “Our condolences go out to his family, friends and co-workers.”

John Branton: 360-735-4513 or john.branton@columbian.com.