Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Maine
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Maine Staff Member

Daniel Stich

Post Doc


  • Ph D University of Maine 2014
  • MS Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 2011
  • Other Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 2010
  • BA State University of New York 2008
  • Other Schenectady County Community College 2005


I'm originally from Upstate New York. I was born in Oneida Hospital, but I've lived in 14 different towns in New York. My parents now live in Glennville, NY. After NY, I moved to Virginia where I initially lived in Blacksburg before moving to the small town of Pembroke on the New River in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I came to the Maine unit on March 28, 2011. I enjoy playing and fishing with my daughter.

Research Interest

My current research is focused on Atlantic salmon smolt migrations and physiology. Atlantic salmon have a very complex life cycle, living as territorial, stream-dwelling "parr" for up to three years, and then migrating through freshwater rivers and brackish water estuaries as "smolts" to feed in the North Atlantic Ocean for 1-3 years before returning to spawn in their natal rivers. The Penobscot River, Maine, hosts the largest returning run of adult Atlantic salmon in the United States, but the vast majority of adult returns are hatchery-stocked smolts. Due to this phenomenon, there is much interest in factors affecting return rates of wild fish to natal spawning rivers. In order to address this particular question, I am studying the downstream migration of wild, Atlantic salmon smolts through the Penobscot River, and the Penobscot River Estuary using acoustic and radio telemetry. More specifically, I will be examining survival, and factors related to survival, during this critical period of the Atlantic salmon life cycle. This research includes aspects of behavioral ecology, physiological condition of wild fish prior to and during smolt migrations, and the survival of Atlantic salmon to the ocean.