Hansbarger published some of his findings in a recent edition of Muskie Hunter magazine, and he has several speaking engagements scheduled in the near future to go over the results with Elk River anglers.
"Part of our job is to get the word out about what we do," he said. "I like talking to angler groups, so I volunteered to do several presentations. People seem eager to hear the findings."
Just days after his Muskie Hunter article came out, officials of the American Fisheries Society asked him to present an overview of his research at the organization's annual meeting in September.
"They said they found the findings really interesting," Hansbarger said. "People are interested in self-sustaining muskie populations, especially with such a push on to establish trophy muskie waters.
"Everyone wants detailed knowledge on muskies' life history. The more we know, the more we can make better decisions on how to manage the resource."
Hansbarger said the full-scale final report on his research is due in December. He said DNR officials would then "sit down to see if there's something we could do to improve muskie fishing on the Elk."
"One of the things we might try to do is to ensure more fish-friendly flows [from Sutton Dam] in the spring during the spawn. We know that if we can protect muskies until they reach about 24 inches in length, survival is very good after that.
"Another thing we might look at is how sedimentation has lowered [muskies' spawning] productivity. And we need to look at all these things on a watershed-sized scale. The bottom line is to try to make the Elk River muskie fishery as good as it can be."
Reach John McCoy at johnmc...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1231.